We are officially occupying Iraq, again

Pity the poor Iraqis. They dared to officially ask us to leave their nation today. They even asked nicely.

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Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has asked the Trump administration to send a delegation to Baghdad to "lay down the mechanisms for implementing" America's military withdrawal. In a statement posted on his official Facebook page, Mahdi said Iraq was "keen to keep the best relations" with its allies, but noted the parliament's decision that the U.S. should "safely withdraw troops from Iraq."

The prime minister did not give a timeline, but according to the statement, he asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the phone Thursday "to send delegates to Iraq to lay down the mechanisms for implementing (the) Iraqi Parliament's decision."

Mahdi also told Pompeo "that there are American forces entering Iraq and American drones flying in its skies without permission from the Iraqi government, and that this constitutes a breach of the agreements in place."

The Trump Administration answered in it's typical crude way, with an answer that I would describe as "You f*cked up when you let us back in."

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Washington is not willing to bow to Iraqi demands to withdraw its troops and any future discussions with Baghdad will be purely confined to the future structure of its forces in the country, the US State Department has said.

The recommitment to US troops in Iraq defies an Iraqi parliament vote last week demanding all US forces leave in the wake of the killing of the Iranian general Qassem Suleimani by a drone strike in Baghdad. The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, said the US was only willing to discuss force reconfiguration with the Iraqis, and a greater contribution by Nato forces.

"greater contribution by Nato forces"?!?
Are you insane? In a couple months all of our NATO allies, except for the UK, will have left Iraq.

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Remember we're the good guys

In the years since, those Afghan scrap collectors have been joined by more than 157,000 war dead in that embattled land. That’s a heavy toll, but represents just a fraction of the body count from America’s post-9/11 wars. According to a study by the Costs of War Project of Brown University’s Watson Institute, as many as 801,000 people, combatants and noncombatants alike, have been killed in those conflicts. That’s a staggering number, the equivalent of the Rwandan genocide of 1994. But if President Donald Trump is to be believed, the United States has “plans” that could bury that grim count in staggering numbers of dead. The “method of war” he suggested employing could produce more than 20 times that number in a single country — an estimated 20 million or more Afghans, almost all of them civilians.

It’s a strange fact of our moment that President Trump has claimed to have “plans” (or “a method”) for annihilating millions of innocent people, possibly most of the population of Afghanistan. Yet those comments of his barely made the news, disappearing within days. Even for a president who threatened to unleash “fire and fury” on North Korea and usher in “the end” of Iran, hinting at the possibility of wiping out most of the civilian population of an ally represented something new.

After all, America’s commander-in-chief does have the authority, at his sole discretion, to order the launch of weapons from the vast U.S. nuclear arsenal. So it was no small thing last year when President Trump suggested that he might unleash a “method of war” that would kill at least 54% of the roughly 37 million inhabitants of Afghanistan.
And yet almost no one — in Washington or Kabul — wanted to touch such presidential comments.

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mimi's picture

@gjohnsit
then I got a little disappointed ...

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"heh, as they say, if you don't dig the blues, you got a hole in your soul" - JS

this goes out to Donnie and the gang.

Note- I think they are insane.

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CB's picture

Shekhar Gupta has remarkable insight on the Iraq conflict.

US’ ‘experiments’ with democracy, regime change and 2 invasions over 30 years in Iraq‬
January 10, 2020

If you are getting tired of jingoistic nonsense from generals and officials who can’t even seem to be credible, here is some brain food from somebody who is. Shekhar Gupta is an experienced journalist from India who doesn’t carry any US partisan baggage. In addition to being a regular contributor to India Today, he publishes ThePrint, a news, analysis, opinion and knowledge venture, launched in August 2017 by editor Gupta. It is sharply focused on politics and policy, government and governance. Its leadership team includes India’s most experienced and respected journalists with proven track records in the finest news organisations.

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Wally's picture

Not perfect but at least the House is showing some backbone against Imperial Presidency:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/war-powers-resolution-house-votes-to-limit-...

Here are the profiles of the 8 Dems who voted against it (great research into MIC campaign contributions if you click on the tweet and read through the thread):

And Bernie did quite a nice job on Colbert last night:

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@Wally
A "sense of Congress" resolution with no teeth in it. Even Nancy admits it's advisory only. A political tidbit thrown out by DNC Dems to make it look like they are against war. But don't worry donors, it's just kabuki.

How th3e Hell did they issue an AUMF with no time limit?
"Constitution gives us the sole power to declare war, but, Mr. President, you can make war without declaring. If you think it's a good idea, that is."

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

PriceRip's picture

          Actually it is way past due. Every solder has the duty to refuse illegal orders. In this brave new world (that should have begun many decades ago (actually it did almost)) solders should have been refusing to be deployed to certain locations.

          I am rather disappointed that in the era of massive communications solders are not organizing and holding their superiors (maybe I should have put "quotes" around "superiors") accountable.

RIP

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11 users have voted.

"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

@PriceRip
And is one of the few things that still carries the death penalty. By court-martial not a civilian court. But a President has to approve the sentence. Donny will tweet "off with his head".

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4 users have voted.

I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

PriceRip's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness

          If you do it properly, you go through proper channels. For example: You don't do this "in the heat of battle", that will get you dead post haste. Refusing illegal orders is something most soldiers should know how to do, but I suppose most are kept ignorant, but what do I know, right? The worst outcome is you get a "general discharge", or a "dishonorable discharge" that you can contest into a "general discharge".

RIP

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5 users have voted.

"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

@PriceRip its own citizens as much as it does, you somehow think the US military is not going to pay a lot of attention to what soldiers might post on social media? Do you really think soldiers on the ground are going to be able to organize that kind of activity because they don't agree with another war? We are talking about a country where perhaps half the population, maybe even more, fully support a war but somehow you think that demographic isn't present in the military? Ever heard of a thing called friendly fire?

As to refusing to be deployed, I shouldn't even gratify that with a response, but once you take that oath upon joining they own you, period. And if you suddenly develop a conscience and refuse deployment, then you end up with a dishonorable discharge and good luck finding civilian employment with that. Not even to mention that refusing to go and allowing others to go in your stead isn't exactly something that many military want on their conscience, but hey, that's just a fee fee argument and doesn't mean squat.

If we're going to hold the military responsible then I for one think we should be demanding the workers at defense contractors to take a stand as well. Refuse to build those bombs, refuse to work on those planes, and voila, America's wars will end. Yeah, sure.

The problem isn't the workers trapped in this system, and one way or another any of us who are employed just might be taking part in facilitating our wars, as well as the massive inequality in this country that feeds the military beast through recruitment. Working for a large healthcare company? Working for a large online retailer or big box entity that's destroying small and medium businesses? Then you too are a part of this war economy whether you like it or not. Watcha gonna do, quit?

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12 users have voted.

Only a fool lets someone else tell him who his enemy is. Assata Shakur

@lizzyh7
our little state has been bought by the defense industry in the foible of 'jobs'
for many years. It is an entrenched part of 'our' economy.
Were we to just say no, as Nancy reagan would say
perhaps the bombs would not roll out on schedule?
Fewer people killed and maimed.
Stop the MIC in it's ugly tracks.

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Wally's picture

@lizzyh7

Lighting a candle is better than cursing the darkness.

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PriceRip's picture

@lizzyh7

          Do you really think soldiers on the ground are going to be able to organize that kind of activity because they don't agree with another war?

          It is not a question of ability (yes, they could do this) it is a question of character (no, they most likely are too frightened). Standing up to authority is not easy, I started young, and never stopped. It becomes almost a habit, and it certainly becomes a way of life.

RIP

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4 users have voted.

"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

PriceRip's picture

@lizzyh7


oath upon joining they own you, period.

          Please. let's keep it real.

RIP

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2 users have voted.

"I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."
Robert J. McCloskey, U.S. State Department spokesman. From a press briefing during the Vietnam war.

thanatokephaloides's picture

@PriceRip

oath upon joining they own you, period.

Please. let's keep it real.

(S)he is. And (s)he's correct, too.

One reason we almost had a genuinely civilized post-WWII world, but never made it, is that no Allied nation was able to implement the right to refuse illegal orders. Nuremburg made it an obligation to do so, but no Allied nation ever fully implemented the right to do so. (Least of all the USA!) So anyone suddenly growing a conscience and refusing illegal orders ends up -- at the very best -- like Chelsea Manning.

And that is real.

Bad

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10 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

thanatokephaloides's picture

@lizzyh7

As to refusing to be deployed, I shouldn't even gratify that with a response, but once you take that oath upon joining they own you, period. And if you suddenly develop a conscience and refuse deployment, then you end up with a dishonorable discharge and good luck finding civilian employment with that.

It's as much fucking fun as trying to land an adult-wage job in Colorado Springs, Colorado with no DD-214. If you own a penis, you're screwed without it. (No DD-214 means you were never "in".)

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4 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

WoodsDweller's picture

when your "ally" doesn't withdraw his troops when you tell him to? You either back down or go to war against the occupying force. Iraq would need allies to go to war. The obvious ally would be Iran (yes, I'm aware of their history, but we're talking about today). Possibly Russia putting some forces in place to act as a tripwire in case the US gets any crazy ideas? Maybe Russia contributes some missiles to help enforce a no-fly zone for US forces over Iraq? There's no limit to how ugly this could get.

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"The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function." -- Albert Bartlett
"A species that is hurtling toward extinction has no business promoting slow incremental change." -- Caitlin Johnstone

@WoodsDweller

You either back down or go to war against the occupying force. Iraq would need allies to go to war. The obvious ally would be Iran

It would make it easier on the militias if the Iraqi government simply said "Either leave or we aren't going to stop anyone from taking a shot at you".

This is an unstable situation that will only grow more unstable with time.

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@gjohnsit

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CB's picture

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thanatokephaloides's picture

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi has asked the Trump administration to send a delegation to Baghdad to "lay down the mechanisms for implementing" America's military withdrawal. In a statement posted on his official Facebook page, Mahdi said Iraq was "keen to keep the best relations" with its allies, but noted the parliament's decision that the U.S. should "safely withdraw troops from Iraq."

The prime minister did not give a timeline, but according to the statement, he asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the phone Thursday "to send delegates to Iraq to lay down the mechanisms for implementing (the) Iraqi Parliament's decision."

Mahdi also told Pompeo "that there are American forces entering Iraq and American drones flying in its skies without permission from the Iraqi government, and that this constitutes a breach of the agreements in place."

Dear Your Excellency,

We wish you all Success and the very best of Luck in getting the US forces out of your country. We've been demanding it for years without success. Both our families and our pocketbooks would rejoice at your success.

Sincerely and Affectionately,

The American Taxpayers and People

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13 users have voted.

"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

I know they are toothless, but every bit of pressure helps.

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I've seen lots of changes. What doesn't change is people. Same old hairless apes.

CB's picture

@The Voice In the Wilderness
But the Iraqi's couldn't get a visa to get to the UN building in NY to serve the papers.

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