Saturday, October 29, 2016

Iraq snapshot

Saturday, October 29, 2016.  Chaos and violence continue, the Mosul operation is on hold -- or it isn't, Hillary Clinton's scandals continue, and much more.

Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Bomber, fighter and rotary aircraft conducted four strikes against ISIL terrorists in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Bashir, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Kisik, a strike destroyed two ISIL vehicle bombs and a command-and-control node and damaged four staging areas and two tunnels.

-- Near Mosul, a strike destroyed two tunnel entrances, an artillery system, an ammo cache, a mortar system and a vehicle.

-- Near Rawah, a strike destroyed an ISIL bunker.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

And then?  The Iraq War ended and peace broke out!  And all foreign troops left Iraq!  And the Iraqi people elected a government of rulers who hadn't fled Iraq years ago! This government, made up of true Iraqis, then made a point to use the billions raised from Iraqi oil to better life for the Iraqi people!

No, none of that happened.

Bombs dropped from airplanes don't generally resolve political crises.

Neither do lies.

The press has been all over Donald Trump -- the Republican candidate for president.  He gave a weak ass sort of to the Iraq War in 2002 -- which may not have meant anything at all.  And the US press has insisted that means he's a liar about being against the Iraq War.

With War Hawk Hillary Clinton?

The press has acted as though she voted for the Iraq War in 2002 but then insisted it was a mistake.

That's a flat out lie from a big time liar.

October of 2006, she sat down with the editorial board of THE JEWISH PRESS.

Please explain your strong criticism of President Bush’s Iraq war strategy after you voted to give him authorization to topple Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship.

I guess I have been more willing to criticize the administration’s conduct of the war than some [of my Democratic colleagues]. I don’t know why they wouldn’t put in more troops.
Why wouldn’t they follow the military plans that had been drawn up previously by Gen. [Anthony] Zinni and others? Why did they create this awkward entity known as the Coalition Provisional Authority, which was a disaster, diplomatically and strategically?
But I voted to give the president authority and I’ve said many times that I regret the way he used the authority. I haven’t said I made a mistake or I wouldn’t have given it to him again. I made the best decision I could at the time, based on my assessment.

I think my position differs with the administration largely with respect to the execution and implementation of the policy, which I think has been a terrible series of blunders.

Why isn't she asked about this?

Why isn't she asked to explain to the American people how more US troops would have been the answer?

They weren't in 2007 when Bully Boy Bush began the surge.

More US troops went in, this helped reduce the violence (as did other things) but this didn't solve any of the problems.

There was no "diplomatic surge" to address Iraq's problems during this time.

The political crises gave the Islamic State its foothold in Iraq.

In August of 2014, Barack began bombing Iraq daily and sending more US troops back into Iraq.

And things are no better because there was no diplomatic surge.

Bully Boy Bush was an idiot.

What's Barack's excuse?

The operation on Mosul continues.

And the good news out of that just keeps . . . failing to materialize?

Video: Iraqi soldiers abuse children near . |

RT reports, "Shia militias, headed by the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), began their offensive against the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) terrorist group in the city of Tal Afar, Saturday morning, joining the fight for Mosul along the western front. IS captured Mosul in 2014 and the offensive is now led by the Iraqi Army, Kurdish and Shia militias, and the US-led anti-IS coalition."  They weren't supposed to be part of the offensive.

The people who will supposedly be liberated do not want those militias present.

But apparently that doesn't matter.

What does?

If the people this operation is supposed to help do not actually matter, then what does?

AP observes, "The involvement of the Iranian-backed Shiite militias has raised concerns that the battle for Mosul, a Sunni-majority city, could aggravate sectarian tensions. Rights groups have accused the militias of abuses against civilians in other Sunni areas retaken from the Islamic State, accusations the militia leaders deny."

Lydia Wilson (DAILY BEAST) reports on the violence Sunnis are experiencing in supposed 'liberation':

“This is payback for the Speicher massacre,” a Shia soldier said to a Sunni as he stomped all over him and some other helpless Sunni prisoners, his colleagues hitting them with whatever came to hand: metal rods, shovels, pipes, cables. He was referring to a notorious mass execution of Shia military cadets by ISIS in June 2014. In August this year, the Baghdad government executed dozens of people for the atrocities at Speicher. But that was not enough for these Shias seeking their own revenge.
With Iraqi forces inexorably advancing on Mosul, more and more villages are being liberated from the rule of ISIS. Ever more Sunnis are fleeing into other areas of Iraq (if they are not first killed by ISIS snipers or mines). The opportunities for such revenge are growing every day, and they are being taken not just by the Shia militias operating in this war but by the state apparatus, too, fuelling a cycle of violence which can only lead to the next insurgency, whatever form that will take.
A recent report from Amnesty International details this and many other atrocities: cases of torture and extra-judicial executions with hundreds upon hundreds of Sunni men still missing; 643 from one tribe following the liberation of Saqliwa in June, with a further 49 definitely killed. What the report implicitly shows is that Iraq after ISIS promises to be more, not less, unstable, even after this global battle for Mosul and the inevitable military defeat of ISIS.

Xinhua adds:

Also on Saturday, the paramilitary units of Hashd Shaabi in the morning launched a large-scale operation and advanced in three routes through the vast rugged land toward the town of Tal-Afar, some 70 km west of Mosul, according to a statement by the Hashd Shaabi's media office.
Tal Afar, which used to have majority of both Sunni and Shiite Turkoman villagers, as well as other minorities of Kurds and Arabs, fell to IS in 2014.

On the air right now, ALJAZEERA ENGLISH just noted that the militias plan to attack to lead to Mosul from the west, providing another pressure point.

In response, AFP reports:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday warned Shiite militias in Iraq against attacking Turkmen residents of Tal Afar, a town near the Islamic State group's Mosul bastion.
"If the Hashed al-Shaabi sow terror there, then our response will be different," Erdogan said, in comments carried by the state-run Anadolu news agency, without specifying what measures would be taken.

Erdogan has Turkish troops in Iraq -- troops that the Baghdad-based Iraqi government has insisted need to leave Iraq.

SPUTNIK news reports, "Saturday Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed Saturday his intention to raise military presence on the border with Iraq."  Erdogan is stating that should Turkman be attacked in Tal Afar, these Turkish troops on the border will be able to rush in -- apparently with or without permission from the Iraqi government.

Since June 2014, the Islamic State has held Mosul, the second largest city (population wise -- BBC NEWS notes: "As many as 1.5 million people are believed to remain in Mosul.") in Iraq.

Yesterday, AMON NEWS reported:

The spokesperson of the International coalition announced on Friday that the Iraqi forces will halt its operations for two days to reinforce the success achieved since the beginning of the liberation operation in Mosul.

American Colonel John Dorian said in a video conference from Baghdad: “We think that it will take approximately two days before resuming our progress towards Mosul”, explaining that this pause comes within the plans of the coalition.

But did it halt?

MIDDLE EAST MONITOR notes that "the ISF [Iraqi Security Forces]'s media wing claimed that they were not halting any combat operations, but were instead continuing them and 'will not stop until Ninawa is completely liberated…the axes are advancing according to plan and to the assigned schedule'."  And Xinhua notes:

The Iraqi Joint Operations Command on Friday denied reports about the security forces pausing their advance toward the city of Mosul to drive out the Islamic State (IS) group from its last major stronghold in Iraq.
"There is no suspension for the military operations to liberate Mosul, but there is re-organization and re-deployment for the military units after freeing dozens of villages and towns," Brigadier General Yahya Rasoul said in a statement.

On RT right now, on THE KEISER REPORT,  they're discussing Eric Holder, the first Attorney General under President Barack Obama: "he's been shown to be complicit in a massive cover up."  But the big news on RT, FRANCE 24, Australia's SKY NEWS, ALJAZEERA and other international channels is Hillary Clinton.

Today, Hillary Clinton attempted to distract from the investigation.  A clip aired on ALJAZEERA ENGLISH showed Hillary, bulging eyes and snarked up lips stating:

It's pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an eleciton.  In fact, in fact, it's not just strange, it's unprecedented and it's deeply troubling because voters deserve to get full and complete facts.

So she will be finally releasing the transcripts of the speeches to Wall Street that she made millions on?

Of course not.

Transparency isn't for Hillary Clinton, it's for everyone else.

ALJAZEERA's INSIDE STORY devoted this week's segment into the reopening of the criminal investigation of Hillary Clinton -- lucky for her they trotted out three guests who were all in the tank for Hillary -- and one who was willing to repeat as fact unproven charges against Russia.  

Twitter's a little more lively than the dead report INSIDE STORY is airing right now.

  1. The FBI could say they found emails of me ordering a hit on someone & my supporters would STILL say it wasn't a big deal & to vote for me! 😂
  2. Funny how Hillary wants the FBI evidence released now. In June she destroyed very similar evidence despite the emails being under subpoena!
  3. The Media will try to distance itself away from reporting on New FBI Investigation into Hillary Clinton. SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN PLEASE SHARE
  4. shouldn't be outraged the reopened Hillary's emails. They should be outraged they nominated her while under investigation.
  5. DC reporters largely ignored the erroneous comment from Hillary that the FBI Director only sent his letter to Republicans.

  1. MSNBC was so shocked by FBI re-opening investigation, their on-air actions were priceless! WATCH!
  2. So now.... demands that the FBI release everything that they have on her; YET, she destroyed EVERYTHING when under subpoena!

  1. BREAKING : Sources Inside the FBI Say Hillary Will Be INDICTED in Early 2017
  2. Hillary MUST be forced 2 STEP DOWN before indictment She should not be allowed 2run 4president Time Is Up Madam Sec.
  3. FBI agents REFUSED to destroy Hillary top aides’ laptops per agreement; they still exist, says DiGenova
  4. it seems wildly inappropriate & dangerous for Obama to be campaigning for Hillary while his FBI is investigating her.
  5. Trey Gowdy Has News for Hillary About Exactly Why FBI Case is Relaunching 10 Days Before Election
  6. FBI has enough to go after Abedin/Hillary with or without the new emails. The new emails provide the impetus to fix their 1st screw up.

  7. FBI agents REFUSED to destroy Hillary top aides’ laptops per agreement; they still exist, says DiGenova
  8. “The Director owes it to the American people to immediately provide the full details of what he is now examining.”
  9. . Spent More Time Questioning Angelina Jolie Than

  1. Hi . Does every Democrat official in the country need to say whether they'll accept the outcome of Hillary's FBI investigation?

  1. deleted 32,000 emails and now demands transparency of ? The most creative fiction writers can't make up this level of stupid.
  2. Imagine FBI agent investigating Weiners sexting & having 10k emails fall into ur lap. Like looking for a lost dog & finding Hoffa.

Comey broke DoJ precedent in July & Dems lauded him: Comey breaks DoJ precedent now and Dems say he's a villain.

  1. I don't know if FBI really cares about proving what a liar Hillary is, but I know she already proved it telling lies getting my rapist off
  2. My supporters are now trying to defend by saying the emails might not be bad. Yeah, thats exactly why FBI reopened the case 😂
  3. Hillary collapse: 10 point swing in week. Polls before FBI reopened case. Further HRC collapse imminent.

The following community sites -- plus THE NEWSHOUR and Tavis Smiley -- updated:

  • iraq