Monday, October 30, 2017

Turkey May Pay Heavy Price for Barzani Resignation

Since the late 2000s, Erdogan developed a close political relationship with Barzani, facilitated by burgeoning trade and shared distrust of Baghdad's leadership.

Erdogan repeatedly accused Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and his predecessor Nouri al-Maliki of pursuing policies against Iraq’s Sunni minority.

“Ankara will have less say over Baghdad with a diminished influence over KRG because Ankara worked through KRG Kurdistan in Baghdad. This is a fact,” said Selcen. “In the mid and long term Ankara’s and Tehran interests will not overlap,” he said.

The cost to Ankara of undermining Barzani and his KDP Party is not only confined to diplomatic influence. The main beneficiary could be the Kurdish rebel group the PKK that is fighting for greater autonomy for Kurds in Turkey.

The PKK has many of its bases in the Iraqi Kurdish region. “The political arena is the more forthcoming for the PKK presence because the KDP was the strongest ally in Ankara’s fight against the PKK. I don’t know how that will continue from now on,” notes Selcen. “But the fight against the PKK has become an agenda for Baghdad and Ankara,” he said.

“Assuming in Iraqi Kurdistan, the PKK gains strength at the disadvantage of Barzani, I don’t see what Ankara can do but intervene one way or another,” warns Yesilada. On Oct.13 and for the first time in nine years, Turkish forces carried out a cross border military operation into Iraqi Kurdistan against the PKK.

With the Iraqi Kurdistan region facing an economic crisis and political turmoil under ongoing pressure from Baghdad, Tehran and Ankara, the region could yet face more instability.

“It's true the KRG runs the risk of an imminent implosion and the first test (is) upcoming elections in Iraq, which should be held March 2018,” notes former diplomat Selcen. Analysts say the PKK would likely benefit from any chaos.

 "Analysts say the PKK would likely benefit from any chaos." 

Requoting from today's earlier post, US Lauds Barzani Step Down. Did the US encourage Barzani’s Fall From Power ?, yours truly stated .......

"Perhaps it’s just more of that order out of chaos?

This fits the theory I've been putting forward for two years now...

 October 2015: PKK Challenges Barzani in Iraq- One ring to rule them all?


 Related from last week:

You'll notice the leader of Gorran emerged from the region controlled by the PUK?
Abdullah Öcalan, the group's leader, sought primacy over his Iraqi Kurdish competitors. "Barzani and Talabani are like feet or arms, but I am the main head or mind," Öcalan explained in a 1998 interview.25

US Lauds Barzani Step Down. Did the US encourage Barzani’s Fall From Power ?

I do wonder about the role of the US considering the stand down of the PUK militia aka peshmerga? Also when thinking about the presence of US troops at Kirkuk? 


The US State Department in a statement on Monday commended the decision made by the Kurdistan Region President to not extend his term and promised to support the Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) new leadership.

“The US commends the decision of Masoud Barzani not to seek an additional term as President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region and the vote of the Iraqi Kurdistan Parliament to distribute presidential authorities to other KRG institutions,” the statement said.
 I'm not really into the whole 'betrayal' meme (as presented) the one that's always pushed with the Kurds- The US as betrayer. It's just not that simplistic when one considers the decades old relationship the US intelligence community has with the Kurds.

"The US has for long worked with the Kurds as its most trusted allies in the region.”
That is certainly true! Relinking a pdf that has been posted here before:

CIA Declassified Document from 1948:
“ The kurds are worthy of scrutiny chiefly because of the potential threat they present  to the internal stability of Iran, Iraq and to a lesser extent Syria...”
“In Turkey - 7-8 percent of the population- form the largest minority group”
Demonstrating a long ago identification with and entirely probable relationship to the varied Kurdish factions for the very reason that they threaten the internal stability of Iran, Iraq, to a lesser extent Syria and most definitely Turkey! No one could possibly believe the CIA would pass up such an opportunity?

What is very clear is that, as usual, some kurds betrayed other kurds. If the US was behind this plan, it was still the PUK/Talabani peshmerga that "betrayed" the KRG supportive kurds and peshmerga.

“Barzani said followers of his long term rival, PUK founder Jalal Talabani who died in early October, had been guilty of “high treason” for handing over the oil city of Kirkuk to Iraqi forces without a fight two weeks ago”
Barzani's been talking about PUK betrayal since the whole Kirkuk incident.
Thinking beyond the usual kurdish backstabbing to the bigger picture.. 

Perhaps it’s just more of that order out of chaos?

In case you've been snoozin'

 Related from last week:

You'll notice the leader of Gorran emerged from the region controlled by the PUK?
Abdullah Öcalan, the group's leader, sought primacy over his Iraqi Kurdish competitors. "Barzani and Talabani are like feet or arms, but I am the main head or mind," Öcalan explained in a 1998 interview.25

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Good Bye 2 Barzani- Thousands Take To the Streets in Support Of...

.......Masoud Barzani.

As reported yesterday Barzani was leaving. 

Good Bye Barzani: The Ring To Rule Them All Was Not His To Hold

"Masoud Barzani, the long-time president of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan Region, has said he would not seek another term beyond November 1, and outlined a plan to divide presidential powers between the regional parliament, government and judiciary
Today it's being reported that thousands and thousands of people have turned out to support Mr Barzani, while insisting he continue to lead.


ERBIL — Following Masoud Barzani’s message declaring his rejection to an extension to his term as the president of Kurdistan Region, thousands of people have taken to streets in support of his leadership.
The huge crowds in Erbil, Soran, Duhok, Zakho and several other cities demand Barzani to continue leading the region in this crucial time.
Earlier the day, Barzani sent a letter to Kurdistan Region Parliament to declare that he is against an extension to his term, and that the parliament should find a solution to prevent a legal and political vacuum since the elections have already been postponed.
The Kurdish leader later said in a televised message addressing the people of Kurdistan that he will remain “a Peshmerga of Kurdistan” and that he will continue serving his people to gain their legitimate rights.

Might the time be right for a false flag attack of some sort against the Kurds, blaming the Iraqi government, in order to ensure some semblance of solidarity and justify attacking the Iraqi central government?


Saturday, October 28, 2017

Good Bye Barzani: The Ring To Rule Them All Was Not His To Hold

The ousting of Barzani was a big part of the PUK stand down at Kirkuk.
It may have been the only reason the PUK stood down- Never mind this rubbish about Iranian influence which plays right into the hands of Usrael!  Which is why I was very skeptical about too many claims the push for creating a Greater Kurdistan was over. 
What seemed more likely, in my opinion, was a propaganda push to create a raison d'etre for the desired Israel 2.0. By creating the idea of Kurdistan's imminent demise, manipulators could create a greater desire, a believed necessary"justice",  for politically convenient "victims". 
I discussed this phenomena most recently as it occurred in the election of  Donald Trump:  Trump's Presidency: A Dangerous Deception
The response to scarcity is, like the other weapons of influence, often a shortcut which usually pays dividends. And we are prompted to react because a missed opportunity is a loss of freedom.

Recall my recent two part post?

  Intra Kurdish divisions, and there are many, need to be stated and understood before one can comprehend the partner post, forthcoming.
 Are the divisions becoming clear yet? What went on in Kirkuk was/is a struggle for power/ broader control via resource/territorial control.  In the 2nd part of this post there will be relinks to previous reports covering the very subject of Intra Kurdish divisions- Yes, I've written about this all before.
 Common sense in life. In investing. And common sense in geopolitics.  Yet, I`m suddenly expected to believe that what occurred in Kirkuk, Iraq is a bellwether suggesting the failure of a Greater Kurdistan aka Israel 2.0. To believe that, unconditionally, would be folly on my part. Perhaps it is an indicator of that possibility?  But, most probably it is not!
 Bye Bye Barzani:

 Iraqi Kurdistan leader Barzani to hand over presidential powers
"Masoud Barzani, the long-time president of the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan Region, has said he would not seek another term beyond November 1, and outlined a plan to divide presidential powers between the regional parliament, government and judiciary, Reuters reports citing a Kurdish government official. Barzani’s term was to expire in four days time along with with the local parliament’s tenure"

Massoud ­Barzani, The Opportunist

TIME- Person of the Year Runner Up 2014
"Nazim Omar Dabbagh in an interview with IRNA on Saturday confirmed reports about end of Barzani term on November 1.
According to dispatches, Barzani is expected to release a statement on Sunday which is going to be read out in the region's parliament.
Iraqi Kurdish region parliament suspended the activities of Barzani and his deputies on Tuesday.
There are growing pressure upon Barzani and his team which are responsible for holding the illegal referendum in the Kurdish region on September 25."
 Now it's Flashback time :
The end of Barzani has been coming for a while. I read it in the tea leaves....
October 2015: PKK Challenges Barzani in Iraq- One ring to rule them all?
That post ended with this observation:
"It appears that the PKK is the 'unifying' force amongst the Kurds- I didn't say the agreed upon unifying force- Rather, the unifying FORCE, needed by NATO to create a Kurdish 'state'
Whether or not the Kurdish population itself really wants one." 

May 2016: Bye Bye Barzani. Hello, Israel 2.0 aka Kurdistan

"Recall my prediction that Barzani will likely be out of power by years end?
The news of Gorran leader coming back to Iraq, just a short time ago, made clear the end was near"
Admittedly I thought Barzani would be gone by now, I had given him till years end, 2016, or until early 2017. He's lasted longer then thought- But, his end time is drawing nearer.
As had been suggested in October 2015, by yours truly, the PKK was going to be the unifying force. Which is why Ocalan's banner flies high all over northern Syria- and many parts of Europe. Will Ocalan actually lead? Doubtful! 
But the US and Israel surely will. 
However, Ocalan has developed quite the cult of personality, making him an ideal figurehead to rally fanatical Kurdish followers .... Calling the situation as it appeared to me!

Enormous Flag of Ocalan Raised In Raqqa- Greater Kurdistan Dead?

Long term readers here know how much I despise the entire cult of personality concept.
Because it's intent is to manipulate

A rockin' 80's tune- Living Colour's: Cult of Personality

 Cult of Personality-

Look in my eyes, what do you see?
The cult of personality
I know your anger, I know your dreams
I've been everything you want to be
I'm the cult of personality
Like Mussolini and Kennedy
I'm the cult of personality
The cult of personality
The cult of personality
Neon lights, a Nobel Prize
Then a mirror speaks, the reflection lies
You don't have to follow me
Only you can set me free
I sell the things you need to be
I'm the smiling face on your T.V.
I'm the cult of personality
I exploit you still you love me
I tell you one and one makes three
I'm the cult of personality
Like Joseph Stalin and Gandhi
I'm the cult of personality
The cult of personality
The cult of personality
Neon lights a Nobel Prize
A leader speaks, that leader dies
You don't have to follow me
Only you can set you free
You gave me fortune
You gave me fame
You gave me power in your own god's name
I'm every person you need to be
Oh, I'm the cult of personality
I'm the cult of, I'm the cult of, I'm the cult of, I'm the cult of
I'm the cult of, I'm the cult of, I'm the cult of, I'm the cult of personality

From Earlier

"Zombie Law" Fines for Distracted Walking?

"Zombie Law" Fines for Distracted Walking?

How about paying a fine for "distracted walking"?
My only comment regarding the idea of such a law is this.... 

How dumbed down and stupid have people become that they demonstrate so very little concern for their own personal safety (and often that of their small children) that they willingly sacrifice their awareness, in whatever surroundings, to enslave themselves to a little screen?


A private member's bill to be put forward by Ontario Liberal MPP Yvan Baker aims to curb distracted walking in the province. The move follows one U.S. city's vote that passed a historic law banning pedestrians from looking down at their smartphones while crossing the street.
Baker, MPP for Etobicoke Centre, told CBC Toronto he was inspired by Hawaii's largest city, Honolulu, which adopted its so-called "zombie law" earlier this month. It cracks down on people who are texting or not paying attention while crossing the street. They can be fined up to $35, or even more for repeat offenders.

'Great way of just saying hey, wake up'

But this isn't enough, said Toronto police Sgt. Jeff Zammit.
Zammit sees people walk into traffic while texting on their phones every day.
He thinks people will only get the message if they are facing a ticket, and it gives police the platform to flag this dangerous behaviour.
"This is a great way of just saying, 'hey, wake up because you're going to get a ticket if you don't, or you're going to get injured and end up in hospital,'" he told CBC Toronto.
Pedestrian Angel Lavoie, who said she tries to use her peripheral vision while looking down at her phone and walking down the street, admitted if she were faced with being fined, she would think twice about doing it. 
"If it becomes a law, I'll have to follow it," she said.
Angel Lavoie- Will follow the law, but, will not take care to be aware of her own surroundings?
Are you kidding me? 

Situational Awareness and Personal Safety

Friday, October 27, 2017

Updated! Iraqi Troops Give Peshmerga Two Hour Ultimatum- Leave Border Crossing

 This is the claim by Kurdish security forces- unnamed

 Iraqi News
Iraqi troops have given the Peshmerga troops two-hour ultimatum to withdraw from border crossing on Iraqi-Turkish-Syrian borders, a Kurdish security source said on Friday.
Speaking to Alghad Press on Friday, the source said, “the federal troops informed Kurdish troops deployed at Faysh Khabur border crossing that they will attack the crossing in two hours and urged them to withdraw before end of the period.”
The Kurdistan Region Security Council said on Thursday Iraqi forces have launched an attack against the Kurdish Peshmerga troops deployed in Zummar, northwestern Nineveh.
Iraqi troops headed on Wednesday toward Ibrahim al-Khalil border crossing in Duhuq between Iraq and Turkey to impose control on it, Russian Sputnik news agency reported.
Earlier this week, a source from the Iraqi army’s elite Counter-Terrorism Service, told Alghad Press that army troops are getting ready to advance toward Faysh Khabur exit, between Iraq and Syria, within the coming few hours. He added that the exit border was located within Mosul before 2003.
Baghdad had declared intentions to retake areas disputed on with Erbil following the Kurdistan Region’s vote for independence from Iraq in September, urging Peshmerga to cooperate with federal troops.
Iraqi troops, backed by PMFs, took over Kirkuk province from Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and reached to southern borders of Erbil last week, fulfilling instructions made earlier by Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi to retake areas where sovereignty is disputed with Kurdistan Region’s Government.

According to Wikipedia: Faysh Kabur is an Assyrian Town 
 It is named after the Khabur River on which the town is built, and lies on the confluence of the Tigris and Khabur river. The town is in a very strategic location, as it lies just 4 km from the three way border crossing with Turkey and Syria, known as the Semalka border crossing. Faysh Khabur is inhabited by Chaldean Catholic Assyrians, in addition to some Kurds. The town has a large monastery overlooking the Khabur river which was recently restored. 

Inter Kurdish bickering may result in Barzani stepping down.  

If he does my prediction regarding his entirely predictable exit will have been correct, though taking a bit longer then I'd anticipated.

 "With perhaps less to show for his official independence efforts now than when he began, Barzani appears poised to decline his eight-month extension of power, effectively dissolving his position and handing power to other Barzani family members, but also strengthening the hand of opposition parties"
 I'll be keeping an eye on that situation 


US Led Coalition Announces Ceasefire (kurdish source)
 Iraqi forces and Kurdish Peshmerga fighters on Friday reached an agreement to stop fighting between the two sides, the US-led coalition media office said.

The ceasefire agreement covers all the front lines, a spokesperson for the coalition in Baghdad told Reuters.
 Recently, the clashes have been intensified between both sides, mostly in the northwestern corner of the country in Rabia where the Iraqi forces and the militias aim to advance toward the Turkish border and control the Syrian Kurdistan border crossing of Faysh Khabur.
Is this true or disinfo intended to sway the battles? Why would the Iraqis agree to this?
I can understand why the Americans would want this, but, why would the Iraqi central government?

It appears my suspicions were well founded- NO Ceasefire agreement has been reached despite Kurdish/US conspiracy disinfo

McClatchy DC
October 27, 2017 10:22 AM
The Latest on developments in Iraq (all times local):
5:15 p.m.
The spokesperson for the U.S.-led Coalition says he incorrectly announced a cease-fire has been reached between the Iraqi central government and the country's Kurdish minority.
Well, Dillon is a liar.
Col. Ryan Dillon says while talks are ongoing and clashes had temporarily ceased, an official cease-fire had not been declared Friday.

Related from yesterday:  Iraqi Forces Clash With Kurdish Troops Near Strategic Border

Related from last week:

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Iraqi Forces Clash With Kurdish Troops Near Strategic Border

Iraqi forces backed by Iranian-allied militias began an assault Thursday to reclaim more Kurdish-held territory in Iraq, advancing toward a crossing in the western border region that provides the only access for U.S. military operations in northern Syria.
Iraqi forces stand guard at the Mosul dam in northern Iraqi on Tuesday.

Confirming the multiple previous mentions here that the US has been transporting it’s implements of terrorism into northern Syria via Iraq in territory held by Kurds, most probably held by PKK and/or some of their affiliates.

A protracted fight over border crossings could severely disrupt U.S. military activity in neighbouring Syria

It also could (that claim is contradicted further into the article) strain the ability of aid organizations to provide desperately needed supplies to the nearly 300,000 civilians who fled fighting in the Syrian city of Raqqa,

The clashes signal that Baghdad is determined to follow through on its goal of exerting full control over all of Iraq’s borders, including those crossings in the north

The combined federal police and militia forces set out at dawn from the town of Zumar, north of Mosul. The plan appeared to be to gain control of the Fishkhabour border crossing from Kurdish fighters, known as peshmerga

Keep in mind that peshmerga is the generic name for the kurdish militias. Who these specific peshmerga are is not mentioned.  Peshmerga means those who face death... more or less
Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the U.S.-led international coalition against the Islamic State, said the fighting has hampered its efforts to defeat the group, citing the inability to move military equipment and supplies to allied (Kurdish PKK/YPG/SDF ) forces in Iraq and Syria.

Dillon said that the majority of the flights carrying humanitarian supplies into Syria have not been disrupted but that the transport of heavy military equipment that cannot be flown in has. This stems from an inability to coordinate with Iraqi and peshmerga senior officers, who have been unavailable because of the ongoing fighting, Dillon said.

 Abadi said he would not accept anything less than a full annulment of the Kurdish referendum.

If Fishkhabour falls to those militias, it would be a “grievous blow” to the United States’ Syria policy, said Nicholas Heras of the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank.

“Fishkhabour is more than just a border gate: It is the essential doorway for long-term American influence in Syria. And Iran wants to slam that gate shut,” he said.

From earlier today:

Tillerson Wants Bashar Assad Out

Determining Alleged Las Vegas Gunman’s Motivation “Difficult”


Tillerson Wants Bashar Assad Out

Link & Link
Is Tillerson a Syrian citizen? He sure is NOT!

"It is our view and I have said this many times as well that we do not believe that there is a future for the Assad regime and Assad family"

Tillerson told reporters in Geneva Thursday after meeting with Staffan de Mistura, the United Nations envoy for Syria, at the U.S. embassy.

“The reign of the Assad regime is coming to an end, and the only issue is how should that be brought about.”

Determining Alleged Las Vegas Gunman’s Motivation “Difficult”

All these weeks later... There is no motive for this crime. Investigators can find NO reason or rhyme, nothing that would have or could have motivated Stephen Paddock to commit this crime.
That is very, very strange. What is crime without motivation? If one has no motivation (motive) to undertake a criminal act then why would they? Oh sure there is trial by media, which has become pretty much the way everything is played out these days. But trial by media is just a manipulation. Having no basis in fact, reality or evidence for that matter! Just wild speculation..........

The latest via Irish Times
“Typically mass shooters leave trails to justify actions but Stephen Paddock appears to have left none."
"Determining a motive for the man who committed one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern history continues to be an exasperating task for investigators”

No motive can surely suggest Stephen Paddock did not commit this crime?
They have interviewed many of Stephen Paddock’s family members and friends and examined his travel, financial and health history but have yet to find anything that points to what drove him to kill 58 people at a concert in Las Vegas on October 1st”
Again, 25 days later,  after interviewing Paddocks family, friends and examining his travel, financial and health history and finding nothing that would indicate his motive for this crime. A true investigation being conducted by real investigators may have to consider that Stephen Paddock did not perpetrate this crime.

“On Wednesday, new information emerged that adds to the complexity of the case. Paddock apparently removed the hard drive from at least one computer found in his room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, according to a law enforcement official”
Law enforcement claims Paddock removed a hard drive, but, did he?  I don’t know. Appeals to authority generally don’t work for me. Is this "evidence" law enforcement will fall back on to pin this crime on Paddock? Which doesn't work for me, personally speaking. The idea that a claimed missing hard drive would prove he committed the act would be a stretch. Since it would not be known what is in the missing hard drive.
housekeepers visited Paddock’s room, where he had fired on the crowd below, more than once in the days before the shooting, but did not notice any sign of his large stockpile of weapons. “

 Odd, that point? Housekeepers who cleaned Paddocks room, they didn't "visit", they cleaned , didn't notice "a large stockpile of weapons"
Nor did they clean just once, they cleaned more then once over the days preceding the incident!
 The question then comes down to how would it be possible that multiple housekeepers cleaning multiple times over an unspecified period of time (multiple days?) would miss a large weapons cache? That's troublesome!
“He also ordered room service at least once

So between hotel housekeeping and room service no one noticed that Mr Paddock had more then two dozen guns and ammo in his room? I find that extremely odd. Don’t you?
No grievance against MGM Resort Properties

Hotel activities

Paddock’s activities at the hotel have been carefully tracked. Paddock was a “lifetime winner” at MGM Resorts properties, which include the Mandalay Bay. The term refers to gamblers who have won more money than they have lost over the years, raising doubts about whether Paddock had any grievance against the hotel.
“Suspects in mass shootings have typically left behind long trails to justify their actions, writing manifestoes or posting on social media. But Paddock did not appear to do so, leaving investigators from the FBI to pore over his computers and mobile phones in the bureau’s lab in Quantico, Virginia, for weeks.”
No one from housekeeping or room service saw the large weapons cache. No grievance with the hotel. No manifesto, no social media posting and weeks of poring over his computers and phones have left FBI empty handed? No interviews with family, friends or poring over his entire life have presented a motivation for the allegation that Mr Paddock committed this crime. That all seems very odd more then three weeks later?

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How US Policies Are Worsening the Global Refugee Crisis

All of it as intended. By design. The plan.  

Remaking entire parts of the planet- Destroying communities and cultures- It takes a whole lot of ethnic cleansing and refugees on the move... to reshape the globe to better suit the psychos we foolishly call leaders.

Carnegie Endowment:
U.S. military actions and partnerships are directly contributing to the very crises humanitarians are trying to resolve. U.S. policy choices bear responsibility in three ways: 1) U.S. military operations have caused immense disruption and are intensifying; 2) partner militaries are systematically violating international humanitarian law and exacerbating migration outflows; and 3) consequently, international norms to protect civilians during armed conflict are diminishing worldwide.
In the campaign to defeat ISIS, U.S. military operations have caused significant damage to communities and led to a steady rise in civilian deaths. Some of the outcomes have been positive.(It’s Carnegie so there has to be appeasement to the global tyrant)

On the other hand, the incredible use of firepower and munitions has brought vast destruction. Millions of Iraqis are displaced and unable to return to their destroyed communities. Whole families have been wiped out from coalition airstrikes. Meanwhile in Syria, the war continues with devastating consequences: more than half the population has been displaced and 13.5 million people exhibit serious humanitarian needs (out of an estimated wartime population of 16.6 million).
Oh and this article features a big‘blame Trump” push.  But then contradicts itself in the ‘ next breath’ by citing worsening conditions under Obama
Under President Donald J. Trump, this destruction has only increased..

Even before Trump took office, human rights observers were concerned about the civilian impact from airstrikes. Under Obama’s watch, the fight against ISIS led to approximately 2,300 to 3,400 civilian deaths. The sheer amount of ordnance used was breathtaking. In 2016, for example, the United States dropped an estimated 26,172 bombs in seven countries: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.
The non-profit monitoring group Airwars estimates that of the 102,000 bombs and missiles that the U.S. military has dropped in Iraq and Syria and the 5,500 civilians killed from airstrikes since the start of hostilities, 55% of this total has occurred in Trump’s first seven months. The huge increase in civilian deaths is not limited to the campaign against ISIS. In Afghanistan, for example, the United Nations reports a 67% increase in civilian deaths from U.S. airstrikes in the first six months of 2017 compared to the first half of 2016. In other words, civilian casualties are up everywhere under Trump’s leadership.

Experts offer several explanations for this trend.
One explanation holds that Trump’s full delegation of authority to the military has eased Obama-era restrictions and increased the threshold of risk that military commanders are willing to assume. A big criticism of Obama – including from former defense secretaries Robert Gates and Leon Panetta – was that the White House staff micro-managed and second-guessed the military. But under Trump, the converse appears to be the case. Jon Alterman from the Center for Strategic and International Studies cautions, “if you’re going to target and kill someone, there needs to be some kind of process to ensure that it serves a strategic purpose. We shouldn’t be comfortable with the other extreme, essentially handing out death sentences without much deliberation.”

It is possible that the intense focus on pinpointing and destroying ISIS has overshadowed the competing priority of protecting civilians. Because Trump is instituting rules changes to permanently scale back civilian oversight, and has also delegated down decision-making authority to call in lethal air strikes (reportedly colonels rather than one-star generals can now authorize bombings), this may explain why civilian casualties are on the rise.

A second line of reasoning emphasizes the changing nature of the counter-ISIS campaign. The Pentagon contends that the rise in casualties is “attributable to the change in location” of battlefield operations towards more densely populated urban environments like Mosul and Raqqa. But this is only a partial answer. What the Pentagon is loath to admit is that they are dropping larger bombs with substantially less accuracy into densely packed urban areas. A Human Rights Watch analysis of bomb craters in West Mosul estimates that U.S. coalition forces have routinely used much larger airdropped bombs – often weighing between 500 and 1,000 lbs. – than in prior operations. They note: “the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects such as air-dropped bombs of this size on probable military targets in densely populated civilian areas of western Mosul may be resulting in civilian casualties…that is excessive to the anticipated military objectives of the strikes.” In other words, bigger bombs dropped more frequently in urban settings appear to be significant contributors to the uptick in casualties.

A third explanation is that aggressive rhetoric from the president is implicitly causing the military to take more risks and de-prioritize protecting civilians. Trump routinely makes inflammatory statements, including vowing on the campaign trail to “take out” terrorists’ families, a clear violation of Geneva Conventions. As Micah Zenko from the Council on Foreign Relations observes, “A change in the rules of engagement does not have to be a change in doctrine. It can just be a change in tone and command climate.” Words matter, especially coming from the commander-in-chief. In the face of such aggressive rhetoric, it should not come as a surprise that military officers feel encouraged – if not pressured – to take greater risks.

Partner Militaries Are Systemically Violating International Humanitarian Law

The Saudi’s:
In addition to the impacts of its own military operations, the United States supports partner militaries that have generated substantial civilian casualties and led to immense displacement. A tragic example is the Saudi coalition’s current campaign in Yemen.
In 2014, Houthi rebels under the backing of Iran deposed Yemen’s government and took over the capital. The following year, the Saudi’s launched a military operation to oust the Houthi and restore the government. That effort has completely bogged down and split the country in two, leading to a collapsed state and spawning “the world’s largest humanitarian crisis.” Three million Yemeni citizens are displaced, and the country is on the brink of famine – 60% of the population is food insecure and two million Yemeni children are acutely malnourished. Cholera has made a comeback. The disease has killed 2,000 people and infected half a million, representing one of the largest outbreaks in the world in the last 50 years.

International Norms to Protect Civilians Are Diminishing Worldwide

Since the end of World War II, the United States has played a leading role in establishing and enforcing norms related to the conduct of war and the protection of civilians. The U.S. was a major sponsor of the Geneva Conventions in the aftermath of World War II. Under Eleanor Roosevelt’s leadership, the U.S. pushed for passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But the latest actions from the U.S. and its allies are calling into question the country’s longstanding commitment to these norms. More disturbingly, U.S. behavior may be helping to precipitate a breakdown of these norms and fostering a “global protection crisis.”

First, while the U.S. military has set the standard for safeguarding civilian protection, there are enough worrisome trends when it comes to targeting oversight, selection of ordnance, and accountability that warrant some serious internal questioning about what seems to be going wrong. For example, given the heightened risks of civilian casualties in high-density urban areas, why is the U.S. military using bigger bombs that lack precision guidance? Under international law, the principle of proportionality prohibits states from launching attacks “which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.”

Second, the United States could be much more vigilant about holding partner forces accountable for violations of international humanitarian law. While existing law – particularly the Leahy Law – prohibits providing training and assistance to foreign military units that have committed gross violations of human rights, this ban does not extend to the transfer of arms

Finally, given the U.S.’s role in contributing to the global refugee crisis, raising the refugee cap above the Obama-era level of 110,000 seems appropriate. In contrast, Trump has proposed decreasing the cap to 45,000, which would be the lowest number any president has sought since the government first established refugee ceilings in 1980. Increasing refugee admissions above 110,000 would set an important precedent. It would be a symbolic admission that the U.S. bears a critical measure of responsibility for the global humanitarian crisis. It would also demonstrate to domestic audiences that fighting wars abroad has real consequences and force U.S. communities to wrestle directly with the implications of armed interventions.

Love that third suggestion.. American leadership does whatever the hell it wants and the domestic populace has to pay the price? Did anyone ask the people of the US what they want?
Did anyone ask us Canadians?  “Do you want our national military to go over to someone else's nation, in order to kill and displace their populace?”  In order to remake some region for better business profits and exploitation? And by the way it's all on your dime? Oh and after we've wreaked havoc you suckers can pay for all the displaced? You're all good with that, right? Right?? As your arm is twisted!!!
Because there is only one taxpayer... for all governments to enslave with debt. 

Ya know what I mean?

Flashback:  Russia at UNSC: US Decision To Reshape Middle East is the Original Cause of Syria's Suffering

Flashback:   Barbara's Spectre: Israel's Refugee's Materialize in Europe

Flashback 2015The Weapon of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion & Foreign Policy
 Professor Greenhill examines an understudied, yet relatively common, bargaining tool and method of persuasion: namely, the use of migration and refugee crises as non-military instruments of state-level coercion.
Global Refugee crisis, worsened by the US. Intentional. Planned. Executed.  a common bargaining tool and method of persuasion- Just a fact. Policy. Not happenstance. 
Not flubbed policy. Not blow back. Not an unforeseen consequences- THE PLAN.

From earlier

Russia Vetoes Extension of UN Chemical Weapon Mission in Syria

Russia Vetoes Extension of UN Chemical Weapon Mission in Syria

Russia cast a veto at the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday preventing the renewal of the mandate for a mission that investigates the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

The investigation by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) - known as the Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) - was unanimously created by the 15-member U.N. Security Council in 2015 and renewed in 2016 for another year. Its mandate is due to expire in mid-November.

China abstained from Tuesday’s vote, while Bolivia joined Russia in voting no. Eleven countries voted in favor of the text.

Nickey Haley’s head spun AND she spewed pea soup- What else could one expect?

Monday, October 23, 2017

Air Strikes Kill 22 in Deir Ez Zor- Syria Accuses US Led Coalition

Early reports have the US attacking civilians..
At least 22 people were killed late on Monday in strikes by unidentified aircraft on a Syrian government-held neighbourhood in the eastern city of Deir Ezzor, a monitor said.
A local official, and Syrian state television, accused the US-led coalition  of carrying out the strikes, and gave a lower death toll of 14, with 30 injured.
IS holds part of the city, but the deaths came in a neighbourhood under government control and appeared to be the possible result of a mistake, said the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The war monitor said the 22 civilians were killed in the Al-Qusur neighbourhood, in the west of the city, which is provincial capital of oil rich province
"Fourteen civilians were killed and more than 30 others injured in air strikes by coalition planes on the Al-Qusur neighbourhood in Deir Ezzor city," the source said, adding that the toll could rise because a number of the injured were in serious condition.
Syrian state television, citing its reporter, also accused the coalition of the strikes.
There was no immediate response from the coalition to questions on the deaths, which were reported late on Monday night.
 I had noticed earlier today there were reports of Syria evacuating civilians.. Most probably because they had some inkling of what the US might engage in. The destruction of Raqqa speaks loudly for itself..

An air raid in the government-held Qusur district of Deir al-Zor city in eastern Syria killed more than a dozen people, Syrian state television and a war monitor said on Monday.
State television said jets from a U.S.-led international coalition battling Islamic State carried out the air strike and that it killed 14 civilians and wounded 32 others.
 Coalition spokesman Colonel Ryan Dillon said by phone that he would check the reports, but that there was no reason for coalition jets to strike targets in Deir al-Zor city because the SDF was not fighting there.

Readers here may recall that Colonel Ryan Dillon lies?

Included in the post: After Raqqa, The US sees Russia, Assad Looming Over the Battlefield
Dillon:  “We’re not in a race, we’re not in the land-grab business. We’re here to defeat ISIS,” he said, using an acronym for the Islamic State"
It makes sense to me the US would target civilians.  I've been talking over several posts about the real possibility of envelope pushing /razors edge type stuff in Deir ez Zor

And isn't it amazing how cooperative ISIS always is with the Kurds and vice versa??.... Yet when it comes to Christians? Both Kurds and ISIS are brutal to the extreme. Must be one of those coincidences? Coincidentally, Israel has a real beef with Christians too?

I'll update when possible
ISIS left trail of blood in Syria town
The Islamic State militants came into the Syrian town with a hit list. By the time they left three weeks later, more than 100 civilians had been killed - shot or beheaded, their bodies dumped in farms and ditches.
News of the gruesome slayings began to emerge late Sunday, after IS militants were driven out by advancing government troops.
Terrified residents said they watched the slaughter from their windows or in the streets.
"They came into town with a hit list," said Abdullah AbdulKarim, adding that 35 of the 50 militants who overran the town late last month were originally from Qaryatayn. He said the militants accused many of their victims of collaborating with the government but many others were also caught in the revenge killing.
Once a predominantly Christian town known for its ancient monastery......
 There's been a real push on to clear the middle east of Christians these last several years

From earlier today:

Rebuilding Raqqa: Strengthening Terror Armies with "construction" contracts

Rebuilding Raqqa: Strengthening Terror Armies with "construction" contracts

 What might really be set to occur in Raqqa now that the US backed PKK terror crew has their fealty flag flying?
  In yesterday's post I broached the subject of funneling funds via construction contracts to create terror armies

"U.S. special envoy Brett McGurk is visiting the Raqqa area, accompanied by Saudi Arabian Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan, whose government the Trump administration hopes will put up funds for the effort."

And that's how you funnel money to terrorists- Through construction contracts. Particularly with certain connected persons or construction firms. Think Osama bin Laden & Bin Laden construction
I've begun work on a post regarding the reconstruction of Raqqa and the ease with which money can be diverted to fund all manner of terrorism. This is how ISIS came to be in Iraq.
We'll revisit that soon enough.........."
Before we get to the possible funding of terror armies redux- I want to mention yet again that mouthpieces from the US are insisting that Syria is hindering the US in their "fight" against ISIS
"The Syrian regime and its allies are hindering the liberation of Raqqah by U.S.-supported forces, the White House charged Wednesday.

"Instead of focusing on fighting ISIS, the pro-regime forces attacked our partners and attempted to block them from liberating the Syrian people from the brutality of ISIS," spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said, referring to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or Daesh."
When the PKK initially raised their giant Ocalan banner the US declined to comment on the unveiling of the huge banner of jailed terror leader Abdullah Ocalan
"The U.S. declined to directly comment Friday on the unveiling of a huge banner of jailed terror leader Abdullah Ocalan by the PKK/PYD in the Syrian city of Raqqah.
Questioned about “a victory enabled by the U.S. that is dedicated to a terrorist group”, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White declined to comment directly.

“We work with the SDF,” she told a news conference. “And we work to help them focus on fighting ISIS [Daesh]. That is our sole responsibility. That's our sole commitment. And we'll continue to work by, with and through the SDF to ensure that we defeat ISIS.”
Apparently the US had someone mumble some gibberish later but that (above) was the initial reporting I had saved immediately after the Ocalan banner was put on display for all.

"Raqqa will be part of a decentralized federal Syria now the city has been freed from Islamic State, the U.S.-backed militias that captured it said on Friday, tying its future to Kurdish-led plans to set up autonomous regions in the north.

The Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said the people of the majority Arab city and surrounding province would decide their own future “within the framework of a decentralized, federal democratic Syria”.
Correction: Used to be an Arab majority city. Until the US flattened the entire city displacing nearly 300,000 people- Arabs undoubtedly. Leaving the PKK in control- Previously covered in  number of previous posts.
"The SDF, which is dominated by the Kurdish YPG militia, says it intends to hand control of Raqqa to a civil council and police force set up under its auspices with support from the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State."
Which will be a Kurdish dominated civil council- Most probably PKK dominated. As has been the usual case. The Kurdish led police force will be the Asayish-  Already terrorizing Hasakah, Manbij and beyond

 Saudi Minister Visits Raqqa for talks with US on Reconstruction
Saudi Arabia’s Gulf Affairs Minister Thamer Al-Sabhan has visited the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, which was liberated from Daesh fighters earlier this week, to discuss plans for the reconstruction of the region, Reuters reported today.
Al-Sabhan was accompanied by US special envoy to the coalition against Daesh, Brett McGurk, and met the US-backed Syrian Defence Forces’ (SDF) newly formed Raqqa Civil Council.
According to Saudi media sources, Riyadh and Washington discussed the rebuilding of Raqqa
“They [Saudi Arabia] promised that they would contribute in construction in Raqqa in the future,” Sido said. “We consider it a first visit, a first step that could be the beginning of future relations.”
Al-Sabhan was accompanied by US special envoy to the coalition against Daesh, Brett McGurk, and met the US-backed Syrian Defence Forces’ (SDF) newly formed Raqqa Civil Council.

According to Saudi media sources, Riyadh and Washington discussed the rebuilding of Raqqa, after months of relentless fighting destroyed most of the city’s infrastructure, leaving it uninhabitable.
The PKK sure has an interesting bunch of friends in Israel and Saudi Arabia. The US of course.  Here's where we get to the history of funneling money to terrorists via construction contracts! This has go to be the most obvious way one funnels money to terrorists. Construction contracts.  The Sunni Muslim terror crowd from Saudi Arabia is perfectly placed for this task.  As already mentioned... Bin Laden construction. This is how ISIS & AQ were most assuredly funded in Iraq- Enabling the destruction we are witnessing today. Highly suspicious, overly generous and very ineffective  money spent on reconstruction contracts.. Some years back, I'd done a couple of reports on construction funds being used for everything except reconstruction in Iraq!
Flashback to 2014: ISIS- A US created "stay behind" using Iraqs plundered wealth.
An Iraqi hospital administrator told me that when he came to sign a contract, the American army officer representing the CPA had crossed out the original price and doubled it. The Iraqi protested that the original price was enough. The American officer explained that the increase (more than $1m) was his retirement package. When the Iraqi Governing Council asked Bremer why a contract to repair the Samarah cement factory was costing $60m rather than the agreed $20m, the American representative reportedly told them that they should be grateful the coalition had saved them from Saddam.
Millions of dollars in cash went missing from the Iraqi Central Bank. Between $11m and $26m worth of Iraqi property sequestered by the CPA was unaccounted for. The payroll was padded with hundreds of ghost employees. Millions of dollars were paid to contractors for phantom work. Some $3,379,505 was billed, for example, for "personnel not in the field performing work" and "other improper charges" on just one oil pipeline repair contract.
Flashback to 2014 Al Qaeda + "Awakening Councils" = ISIS
In the "Construction Business"

In late 2006, roughly speaking, months before George W. Bush's "surge" strategy sent 30,000 more American troops into Baghdad and surrounding areas, the U.S. began making down-payments on the cooperation of local al-Anbar tribal sheiks and started funding and arming the Sunni militias they were then organizing
The program was soon hailed as a success, and the groups were dubbed anything from The Awakening, to Sons of Iraq (al-Sahwa), or as the U.S. military preferred for a time, Concerned Local Citizens. Whatever the name, most of their members were former resistance fighters (AQ in Iraq) many were also former members of Saddam Hussein's Baath Party; and significant numbers were -- and, of course, remain -- both.
So, the ' Sunni Sons of Iraq", former Baathists & resistance fighters (AQ) were one and the same as the Awakening councils. It was the usual sleight of hand/rebrand
"As a result, these men obtained backing for their private militias, renamed Awakening groups, and in addition, signed "construction" contracts with the Americans who put millions of dollars in their pockets, even if not always into actual construction sites.
Construction contracts  funded Sunni Muslim militias , that would include Sunni Muslim Kurdish militias, that went on to form the basis of AQ in Iraq and ISIS
2007: How the US sent $12bn in cash to Iraq. And watched it vanish
“The memorandum concludes: "Many of the funds appear to have been lost to corruption and waste ... thousands of 'ghost employees' were receiving pay cheques from Iraqi ministries under the CPA's control. Some of the funds could have enriched both criminals and insurgents fighting the United States."

According to Stuart Bowen, the special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, the $8.8bn funds to Iraqi ministries were disbursed "without assurance the monies were properly used or accounted for". But, according to the memorandum, "he now believes that the lack of accountability and transparency extended to the entire $20bn expended by the CPA".

That’s how terrorism and terror armies are created.  In my opinion that's what is set to go down in Raqqa! Oh there will be some rebuilding– but not enough to bring all the displaced Arabs home. It's doubtful that is the plan anyway.  
Most of the reconstruction money will be funneled to terror groups, in this case, most of it will go to the multitude of Kurdish terrorist groups, branches of the PKK, same as plenty of it did in Iraq!  Enabling the US to expand their terror reach further into Turkey and Iran

Hope I'm wrong! 

Hope that Syria can avoid this extremely destructive "rebuilding" scheme-
Iraq's rebuilding sure didn't have any positive outcome for Iraq, did it?

Sunday, October 22, 2017

After Raqqa, The US sees Russia, Assad Looming Over the Battlefield

The article from Washington Post is perception management extraordinaire!
WaPo in blue
"Rapid advances by Russian- and Iranian-backed government forces in eastern Syria are thwarting the U.S. military’s hopes of pressing deeper into Islamic State territory after winning the battle for Raqqa"
Since Syria has actually been fighting terrorists and terrorism I'm unsure how it can be construed that they would thwart the US fight against ISIS- That statement only makes sense if one understands the US has NOT been fighting ISIS- Rather they've been redrawing borders. And ethnically cleansing the populace of Syria
WaPo article features that huge banner of cult/PKK leader Ocalan
"An expansion of territory held by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad is also likely to provide Assad with additional leverage in political negotiations over Syria’s future, talks the United Nations hopes to reconvene next month"
Of course the US doesn't want Syria's elected government to have leverage.
"In a statement this week, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres said the “latest developments” in Syria pointed “to the urgent need to reinvigorate the political process.”
Related: Syria surprised over inability of UNSC to stop and condemn Israeli aggressions
"The recent government gains have cut off the approach of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces to remaining militant strongholds in the southeastern part of the country, including the crucial town of Bukamal near the Syria-Iraq border."

Oh dear, Syrian forces and friends have impeded the US from aiding the PKK in anymore land grabbing! This point of no return has been covered on several previous occasions.

Flashback: Razors Edge 2: US Faces Imminent Decision on Race for Syria's East

Flashback Syria: Walkin' the Razor's Edge? US Shells SAA/Casualties

"Aided by Russian airstrikes, in apparent violation of a deconfliction line along the Euphrates River that U.S. officials said had been tentatively agreed on with Moscow."

There was no deconfliction agreement with Moscow in that area, which is why WaPo calls it 'tentatively' 

(Syrian) "government forces have encircled and claimed control of another location that had been on the wish list of U.S. military planners — the town of Mayadeen"
 Flashback: Razors Edge 2: US Faces Imminent Decision on Race for Syria's East
 Reports from today state SAA and allies have (re)taken Mayadeen (there was a bit of back and forth there- finally resolved  on or about October 14/17)
If SAA and allies are able to hold Mayadeen what will be the American/Kurdish/Israeli response? SAA and allies have now blocked the SDF out of Mayadeen. Can that be left as is?
 Wapo continues
"The advance has also taken government forces, and supporting Russian strikes, east of the river and into Syria’s main oil-producing region of Deir al-Zour province, once a key source of Islamic State revenue"
“I’m not going to address whether or not an agreement or deconfliction line has been broken,” Army Col. Ryan S. Dillon, spokesman for counter-Islamic State military operations, said in a telephone interview from Baghdad. “That’s why we maintain an open dialogue” with Russia."
Dillon isn't going to address it because no such deconfliction line/agreement in that area exists! 

"After Raqqa, the intention was to proceed downriver through Mayadeen to Bukamal, where SDF fighters would link up with Iraqi government forces trying to regain control over the Islamic State-controlled town of Qaim, just across the border inside Iraq. A major goal was to block Iran from securing a land corridor, through Iraq, between Tehran and Damascus.
Dillon declined to say whether the U.S. military’s plans had changed.
“There are always plans,” Dillon said. “You don’t fight the plan, you fight the enemy . . . where they are.” The military, he said, was not concerned with “greater policy decisions” over who fought the militants or who controlled Syria, as long as it was not the Islamic State.
“We’re not in a race, we’re not in the land-grab business. We’re here to defeat ISIS,” he said, using an acronym for the Islamic State"
 Dillon is such a liar!! That is a bold faced lie!  Brazen! 

"On Thursday, female YPG (PKK) fighters marked the victory in Raqqa by raising a giant banner of the (PKK) Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan over the central square where the Islamic State carried out most of its grisly executions. Ocalan, who heads Turkey’s militant Kurdish movement, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, is serving a prison sentence in Turkey for terrorism.
The public declaration of fealty to Ocalan by the Syrian Kurds who led the Raqqa offensive points to one of the many challenges confronting the Trump administration as it seeks to forge a coherent policy for the post-Islamic State era. Although the Syrian Kurds have admitted many  (how many? Not many) Arabs into their ranks, they have retained overall control of the SDF (PKK)coalition’s command and ideology."
 How many years have I been correctly linking YPG and PKK together?? 
Is everyone ready to accept that they are in fact, as repeatedly stated, one and the same?
"Turkey, which shares a long border with the autonomous enclave the Kurds have established in northeastern Syria, is enraged at the U.S. military’s support for the SDF, which it considers an appendage of Ocalan’s terrorist movement.

Many Syrian Arabs are also deeply uncomfortable about the prospect of being governed by Kurds. Raqqa is an almost wholly Arab city, and the photographs of the Ocalan banner that circulated on social media triggered widespread condemnation by ­Arabs on Thursday."

All the fake supporters of Syria who cheered on the so called "Syrian Kurds"
PKK rebranded.  

"Remaining in Syria to protect its Kurdish allies (PKK Terrorists) risks embroiling the United States in possible future conflicts between Arabs and Kurds, and between Turkey and the Kurds.

The Kurds are also vulnerable to the Syrian government’s declared ambition to reclaim all of the territory ( It is Syria's territory- Why should it be expanded Israel?) it lost in the war that began as a political rebellion in 2011. Much of what happens in Raqqa will depend on the speed and success of reconstruction there. U.S. special envoy Brett McGurk is visiting the Raqqa area, accompanied by Saudi Arabian Minister for Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan, whose government the Trump administration hopes will put up funds for the effort."

And that's how you funnel money to terrorists- Through construction contracts. Particularly with certain connected persons or construction firms. Think Osama bin Laden & Bin Laden construction
I've begun work on a post regarding the reconstruction of Raqqa and the ease with which money can be diverted to fund all manner of terrorism. This is how ISIS came to be in Iraq.
We'll revisit that soon enough.......... 

From earlier:

PKK/YPG Take Syria's Largest Oil Field in Deir Ez Zor with US Help