Have we already forgotten about Iraq?

As the news media asks the question, "Why aren't we already bombing Syria?" it's easy to forget that we only invaded Syria because of Iraq.
Plus, while there is lots of talk about our humanitarian bombing, and our inevitable slaughter of innocent civilians in the process that "no one could have predicted", we've already forgotten why we are currently in Syria.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson recently laid out a new US approach to the conflict in Syria, and two things became immediately clear — the US is staying in Syria and conflict with Iran could be coming.
.."Continued strategic threats to the US from not just ISIS and Al Qaeda, but from others, persist," Tillerson said earlier this month. "And this threat I'm referring to is principally Iran."
Tillerson said Iran "is positioning to continue attacking US interests, our allies, and personnel in the region" through its positioning in Syria.

Forget anything you hear about gas attacks. This is all about Iran.

What is curious is how we are prepared to go to war in Syria against Iranian influence, but seem to be sanguine and oblivious concerning Iraq, where next month's elections could see Iranian-proxies taking over the Iraqi government.

Iran’s influence is looming large as Iraqis prepare to head to the polls for parliamentary elections in May, with many in the country worried that Tehran may be looking to strengthen its political grip on Baghdad through the ballot box.
Iranian support and military advisers helped Baghdad’s Shiite-led government beat back the Islamic State group. But with IS militants now largely defeated militarily, Iran’s expanding influence has emerged as one of Iraq’s most divisive issues ahead of the balloting.
U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis last month accused Iran of “mucking around” in Iraq’s upcoming elections, telling reporters the U.S. has what he called “worrisome evidence” that Iran is funneling “not an insignificant amount of money” into Iraq to try to sway votes. Baghdad rejected the accusation.

At the heart of Iranian influence is the Iranian-backed 140,000 man Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF) which were critical to beating ISIS after the Iraqi army collapsed. PMFs are one of the most popular institutions in Iraq.
These very same forces that defeated ISIS in Iraq, also defeated al-Qaeda in Syria.

Iraqi Shiite militias, battle-hardened from fighting the United States, began fighting in Syria alongside Mr. Assad’s forces in 2012. Hezbollah captured the strategic Syrian town of Qusair from opposition fighters in 2013. Shiite militias, including Afghan fighters, were pivotal in capturing Aleppo in December 2016, which arguably secured the survival of the Assad regime.
Hezbollah and Iraqi militias such as the Badr Organization, Kataib Hezbollah, Asaib Ahl al-Haq and Harakat al-Nujabaa have emerged as Iran’s most powerful partners on the ground in Syria.

Much of the high-tech weaponry we gave the Iraqi government during the past decade was then given to these very same Shia militias that were shooting at us during the occupation.
There are around 500 PMF-linked political candidates running for office in next month's elections. To give you an idea how this might effect us, consider the second-most popular man in Iraq - Muqtada al-Sadr.

Influential Iraqi Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr on Sunday expressed his rejection to the presence of foreign troops in Iraq, vowing resistance against them.
In a hand-written letter released to the media by his office, Sadr, the leader of the Sadrist Movement in Iraq, warned against the presence of the US or any other foreign military in the country.
“Our position regarding the presence of the invading US forces, under the pretext of military advisers, and with the endorsement and knowledge of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is clear,” he wrote. “Everyone knows our position, we reject and resist” the presence of the US troops in Iraq.
Sadr had previously accused the US of allowing the Islamic State (IS) to emerge in Iraq and had warned against any foreign military involvement in the country. “The US or any other nation which deploys troops to the country will be considered aggressors.”

This man could be the next Prime Minister of Iraq.
These Iranian-backed Shia militias that may be on the way to political power in Iraq, are the very same militias that we are about to bomb in Syria.

Think about that for a moment.
They might not be understanding about us killing their buddies in Syria.
Then think about the 5-6,000 U.S. troops still stationed in Iraq.
Our forces in Iraq are outnumbered by PMFs by a factor of roughly 20-to-1.

December 2017: Iraqi Shia Militias Threaten to Strike US Forces

Former Prime Minister of Iraq Nouri al-Maliki, a Shia Muslim, called Trump’s announcement a “declaration of war.” Powerful Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who heads his own militia, demanded the closure of the American embassy in Baghdad and warned that "we can reach Israel through Syria”

January 2018: Iran-backed Iraqi militias pose ‘serious’ threat to US

“The enemy of humanity, the United States, can no longer des­ecrate Iraqi soil, as the fighters of the Hezbollah Brigades will not al­low them to do so,” the statement said, the Kurdistan 24 website re­ported. The statement contained direct threats to US forces in Iraq.
...“These are the same militias that murdered and maimed hundreds of American and British soldiers between 2003 and 2011,” Orton said.

February 2018: Iran-backed Iraqi militias step up threat of violence against US forces in Iraq
March 2018: Iraqi Shia militia: Confrontation with US troops can happen at any moment

The Iranian-backed Kata'ib Hezbollah militia on Monday warned it might engage in armed confrontation with US forces in Iraq at any moment.
It is the second, if not the third warning issued by the Iranian-backed Shia militia against American troops in the country since the Iraqi government declared final victory over the Islamic State (IS) in late 2017.
...Husseini said clashes with the Americans “may start at any moment ... This time the Americans will not be able to talk themselves out of it.”

Um, hello? Helllooooo?
Is anyone paying attention to this besides me?
The guys who killed hundreds of Americans a decade ago, that we also gave many M-1 Abrams tanks to, want to kill us again.
I think that's important!

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important to worry about the Rumper firing Mueller, what's with all this negativity about war? s/

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@lizzyh7
Here's one from the wreck'd list:

'go crazy' Trump keeps sucking up to Russia, and installs his spook in DoJ

He's threatening to go to war with Russia...but he's sucking up to Russia.
Yea, that makes sense.
Democrats have lost their f'ing minds.

Meanwhile, Republicans lost their minds a generation ago.

The Pew Research Center published on Monday—one day before the Iraq War's 15th anniversary—a survey showing a major, lingering divide in the U.S. public's opinion of the conflict. Of the 1,466 adults interviewed on March 7-14, results showed that 48 percent believe the U.S. made the "wrong decision" in using military force in Iraq, while 43 percent thought the move was justified.
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@gjohnsit This one quote seems to summarize the belief of posters and commentators on the site:

He’s coordinating with Putin.

Utter fucking insanity.

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snoopydawg's picture

@MrWebster

The author writes that "Trump is upset because Obama had him wiretapped during the election." Didn't he do just that? Why yes he did, but for some reason she can't admit it.

They still insist that Putin is pulling Trump's strings even after he threatened him for helping Assad gas Syrians. Even when she admits something happened, she refuses to see how she writes it makes her look dumb. And she isn't the only one who writes like that. Summer does the same thing. No matter what Trump does, he only does it because Putin told him to.

I've seen you trying to install some sanity there, Mr. Webster, but they don't appear to want to return to sanity. Sigh

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

@MrWebster

. . . the following message:

"I'm now thinking that Trump is a Russian stooge. The only way he can prove to me he is not, is by taking out Assad and launching pre-emptive nukes against Moscow and Saint Petersburg . . . and every Russian military base we know about."

See what kinds of responses you get.

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@SoylentGreenisPeople
the only question is how many positive responses

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The Aspie Corner's picture

@gjohnsit Glad I got myself bojo'd.

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Modern education is little more than toeing the line for the capitalist pigs.

is that the John Boltons of this scenario like the fact that we're not liked. The more problems we cause, the more enemies we have, and for John Bolton, enemies are like winnings in a video game. The more they pop up, the more we blast them out, the more they pop up, the more prizes we get. It doesn't matter to Bolton that the people in these blasts are Americans, Iraqis, Iranians, Israelis, Syrians, Yemenis, or whoever. Blast equals payments equals prizes.

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@Linda Wood
I believe that being outnumbered 20-to-1 is similar to Battle of Little BigHorn ratios.

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@gjohnsit savages are sending our troops into hell. So many reasons to hate these psychos.

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@lizzyh7

Even more unforgivable.

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Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

in the Ukraine. They might see this as their best chance to pounce on the Donbass. It will be bad enough if Russia and our allies start taking pot-shots at each other in Syria. If Russia feels threatened by NATO, that's when the nukes could start to fly.
(And I was worried about HRC. Here we are anyway!)

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chuck utzman

You can blame me. I did not vote for Her Heinous.

This whole thing is a shit storm waiting to happen. Nervous as hell. Yuck.

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If it was easy, everyone would do it.

Getting us out "with honor" is something else. (Apparently, we can't leave unless it's "with honor." Stopping needless loss of blood and treasure doesn't suffice.)

Somewhere in our collective memory is the idea of a conventional war, or at least a semi-conventional one, like our revolution of 1776. You declare it; you fight it until a clear winner emerges (or so it seems); and then it's done. (Except it isn't, but we pretend it is.)

One of the reasons we got so deep into Vietnam was that we forgot the lesson of the Cuban missile crisis--the latter having become a crisis principally because JFK's advisors said it was. And JFK managed to end that crisis without a war, nuclear or otherwise, because he remembered the lesson of the Bay of Pigs.

We went into Afghanistan because we forgot the lessons of Afghanistan, which we ourselves had helped teach Russia. And, forgetting all those lessons, we stormed into Iraq like clueless, murderous buffoons. And we've done the same in one Middle Eastern nation after another.

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@HenryAWallace

statement, HenryAWallace!

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@HenryAWallace

There was another two years of diplomatic negotiations over a peace treaty, while scaled-down fighting continued. It wasn't really over till the peace treaty was signed, the news made it across the Atlantic, and the last combatants were forced to stop.

But the National Myth airbrushes over all that.

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

Wink's picture

Can't be bothered by the noise.
As usual.

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the little things you can do are more valuable than the giant things you can't! - @thanatokephaloides. On Twitter @wink1radio. (-1.9) All about building progressive media.

The last couple of weeks I have been at Zero Hedge. Not comfortable with that site yet.

This just came up

"There Wasn't A Single Corpse": Russia Claims 'White Helmets' Staged Syria Chemical Attack

The Russian ambassador to the EU said that there are no corpses. They have been on the ground and no one treated for chemical attack.

Then there is a MSM question too a Russian spokesman. She puts him in his place about complicity of the media in beating the drums for confrontation.

Meanwhile, UK Prime Minister Theresa May told President Trump on Tuesday that Britain would require more evidence in last weekend's suspected chemical attack before committing to a military strike against Syria, reports The Times

If this is true, the whole thing is a hoax.

With this kind of games and what you posted about the role of Shia in Iraq, along with Iranian support, we are liable to get our ass handed to us in the middle east soon.

We have already destroyed several countries and there seems to be no way to make things go the way we want them to go, so .....

The "White Helmets" claim to be rescue workers but .....

The Russian woman said that the same girl has now been a victim in 2 attacks ...

Here is a NY Times letters to the editor with a photo taken by the White Helmets

Responding to the Chemical Attack in Syria

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snoopydawg's picture

@DonMidwest

IMG_1967.JPG
Medical workers treating toddlers following an alleged poison gas attack in the opposition-held town of Douma, in eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, Syria, April. 8, 2018 (Syrian Civil Defense White Helmets via AP)

Look at how far the White Helmets will go to fake an attack on children. It's interesting that only children are ever affected by the gas attacks, isn't it? Never men and women photographed who had also been affected by the gas. Gee, why is this? Could it be because pictures children get more sympathy? Yep.

IMG_1966.JPG

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Disclaimer: No Russian, living or dead, had anything to do with the posting of this proudly home-grown comment

@snoopydawg @snoopydawg

the hospital and Red Crescent medical specialists in Eastern Ghouta have seen no victims of chemical attacks, because the White Helmets helped them all by themselves, (although a doctor said, in one of the articles I've seen, that they did have, one day, 6 people showing up and claiming to have respiratory issues from poison gas but in examination showing no trace of chemical exposures or any real respiratory issues, so I'm guessing that they tried to establish verisimilitude for the chemical attack they were going to claim took place there by trying to fool the doctors, and it failed so they stopped sending claimants in after they came back saying, no luck there. So, the White Helmets had to conduct the whole 'rescue' all by themselves, while filming kids that deserve the Oscar, going by just the training session that I've seen. Very realistic, even on the class-room floor.

Edited because I cleverly had Ghouta twice in a sentence... sigh...

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.

@DonMidwest

I think that's good.

NONETHELESS, I go there many times each day, in spite of its hardcore ideological libertarian/pro-laissez faire bent.

Why?

Because for every two or three articles I disagree with, I get at least one article that reports facts and information I don't get from the MSM, usually having to do with foreign affairs. And usually, these facts/info have proven to be correct. (Lately, that site has been running pieces by Chris Hedges and Caitlin Johnstone. On the other hand, their coverage of what has been doing on in Venezuela leaves a LOT to be desired.)

Plus, reading their comments (as regressive, knuckle-dragging, and racist as they can often be) have also enlightened me as to other alternative websites--like Craig Murray's blog or Russia Insider, or the Vineyard of the Saker, or UnzReview--that have also proven informative.

This is why when people ask me to recommend alternative news/info sites after I've given them my spiel about how no one can trust the western corporate media/MSM, I always recommend this site on my list of sources . . . along with a disclaimer, of course, that I disagree with a LOT of what's on that site.

As they say in 12-step meetings: "Take what works. Leave the rest."

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Tell them they can't start any new attacks or invasions until they clean up after themselves in each country they've wrecked so far. And by that, I mean stuff like repairs of everything they broke - especially people.

How can you hit a new desert when you haven't finished repairs?

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2 users have voted.

Psychopathy is not a political position, whether labeled 'conservatism', 'centrism' or 'left'.

A tin labeled 'coffee' may be a can of worms or pathology identified by a lack of empathy/willingness to harm others to achieve personal desires.