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Iran and Iraq sign accord to boost military cooperation

Iran and Iraq sign accord to boost military cooperation | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Iran and Iraq signed an agreement on Sunday to step up military cooperation and the fight against "terrorism and extremism", Iranian media reported, an accord which is likely to raise concerns in Washington.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The King of Jordan tried to warn Dick Cheney that taking down Saddam would result in strengthening Iran, but Cheney and the neocons figured they knew better. With the invasion of Iraq, George W. Bush's administration made it way to the bottom of the judgment barrel of history right along with LBJ's escalation of the war in Vietnam and Reagan's fiasco in Nicaragua. Then too we had Somalia under George H. Bush (yes, he also helped create the mess and straighten it out for the first Gulf War) and Libya under Obama. Lots of stupid prizes to go around.  And, for Bush, Obama, and Trump we have Afghanistan. 

Might I suggest that one great advantage of Mr. Trump's presidency is that none of the other countries of the world want much to do with him, which means we might have fewer great crusades coming out of the Pentagon and the espionage community. It would be nice to see them cut down, but of course, the purchasing of weapons won't be decreased; how else would the big guys make their money?

Perhaps a POTUS from a third party might actually be interested in giving peace a chance.
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Russia’s General Staff blasts US-led coalition for destroying Syrian infrastructure

Russia’s General Staff blasts US-led coalition for destroying Syrian infrastructure | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Russian General Staff says the coalition delivers strikes on the quarters of Iraq’s Mosul where thousands of civilians stay besides the Islamic State’s militants
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Not surprisingly, Tass has a very different view of what is going on on the battlefield than our American sources. They speak of both the success of their efforts in Syria and the failure of the coalition in Iraq and in Syria, but more importantly, they speak to the destructiveness of the American approach of bombing infrastructure like that near Raqqa, Syria. Since we never hear from the US military about such attacks on bridges, dams, and the like, I wonder whether we have taken to creating such damage and if so what the consequences will be for the people of Syria and Iraq and particularly cities like Raqqa and Mosul in Iraq once ISIS is driven back. Saddam had predicted the chaos that would follow his overthrow, and so far he has certainly been right. What he didn't perhaps realize was that it would bring out the worst thinking in America and perhaps the most strategic in Russia.
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Who's fighting whom in Iraq's Sinjar?

Who's fighting whom in Iraq's Sinjar? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
After KRG Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani warned that the KRG may resort to force to expel the Kurdistan Workers Party from Sinjar, tensions rose in the region.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
In the madness that is the Middle East, Kurds fight Kurds to take over an area that is majority Yazidis. Saddam was right, by taking him down the US created a mess that will haunt us all for years. But try to tell that to the simple-minded of Washington. 
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Email to Clinton: U.S. pressured Iraq to increase oil production “to pay the greatest dividends”

Email to Clinton: U.S. pressured Iraq to increase oil production “to pay the greatest dividends” | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Iraqi oil production skyrocketed since illegal 2003 US invasion, in accordance with plans outlined by US officials
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Yep, one goal of the Bush war in Iraq was increased oil production, a goal that continued under Mr. Obama. Nothing wrong there. Indeed, one might argue that if we were liberating the Iraqis from tyranny, the war should be paid for retroactively from the sale of their oil. The big questions, besides the justification for the war, is whether that increased oil production has helped anybody except the oil companies. World oil prices are down, which helps us all at the pump, and that helps the industrial consumers, especially in Asia, which relies heavily on Iraq's oil production. Certainly, the money generated has done nothing for the people of Iraq who now live under another form of terror. The dividends haven't gone to relieve the suffering of veterans of the war. So, does this make Hillary a bad guy? No, but it doesn't say much for American policy. 
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After more than $1.6 billion in U.S. aid, Iraq’s army still struggles

After more than $1.6 billion in U.S. aid, Iraq’s army still struggles | Upsetment | Scoop.it
To one respected commander, the fight against ISIS felt like a suicide mission.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The debacle that is Iraq, the horror that is ISIS: these are the legacies of the Bush-Cheney administration and are the reason that we should never again allow the neocon hawks a say in foreign policy. You cannot successfully remake the world simply because you have bigger bombs; or to put it in terms that Americans might better understand, having a big dick doesn't make you right or even give you good judgment. Even if we are gradually winning the battle against ISIS, the entire Iraq adventure has been a true "folly in history".
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Iraqis kept in the dark about Mosul Dam emergency plans

Iraqis kept in the dark about Mosul Dam emergency plans | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Employees work at strengthening the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq, in this file picture taken February 3
Kenneth Weene's insight:
The saddest part of this is that if the dam does fail and if thousands and thousands of people die and billions of dollars worth of property are lost, the entire political focus will be on who's to blame not on how to help, which goes to show of how little importance people are to political leaders. No wonder, countries like Iraq, Syria, and all over Africa are falling apart. 
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ISIS burns fighters alive for letting Ramadi fall | Fox News

ISIS burns fighters alive for letting Ramadi fall | Fox News | Upsetment | Scoop.it
ISIS fighters who fled to the terror group’s Iraqi stronghold of Mosul after being defeated in Ramadi were burned alive in the town square, sources told FoxNews.com, in an unmistakable message to fighters who may soon be defending the northern city from government forces.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Given the source, Fox, I have to wonder about this; but if it is true, consider what a great recruiting incentive this is for ISIS — NOT! But int goes to two things about the underlying theology. One, death is good if one dies in the name of Allah. Two, there is no redemption from guilt except dying in the name of Allah. I hope this story gets good play in England and other places where there are still willing fools ready to fight for the "new caliphate." 

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No regrets, no remorse: Isis mastermind who sent out 15 suicide bombers

No regrets, no remorse: Isis mastermind who sent out 15 suicide bombers | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Islamic State commander who claims to have armed and directed more than a dozen attacks in Baghdad shows no remorse as he details his deadly campaign
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What to do with a monster who willingly orders the deaths of innocent women and children. Who, in the name of a god, rains down destruction on others, even those who worship that same god. In the Middle Ages he would have been the guest of honor at an auto-da-fé. But we no longer indulge ourselves in such wanton cruelty; besides which such a death would be too easy for him, especially when he is so sure that it will bring paradise. I would put him in a cage within a pigsty and let him live there surrounded by his porcine brethren until he begged them to eat him. Hopefully, the pigs will not be sickened by such a disgusting meal.

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How Iraq is Driving Itself to Hunger

How Iraq is Driving Itself to Hunger | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The fight against the Islamic State has disrupted food production in Iraq, but the Iraqi government is in no shape to fill the food gap.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Throughout the world people are starving. Iraq, which has typically had good grain production, is slipping into a food desert as strive cuts production, displacement of people increases need, and government mismanagement hurts the market for what is grown. Soon that poor country will be suffering famine to go along with war and the pestilence of ISIS. We know what dark force has cast these plagues on the Iraq, but does anybody from the Bush administration care?

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Why Are the Islamic State’s Commanders so Much Better than the Iraqi Army?

Why Are the Islamic State’s Commanders so Much Better than the Iraqi Army? | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Why Are the Islamic State’s Commanders so Much Better than the Iraqi Army? « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The basic problem is that every time the U.S. tries to overthrow a government we do a horrendous job of planning. The British were great empire builders, which is why so many nations of the earth speak English. We Americans haven't a clue how to administer an empire. One of the worst decisions ever was to disband the Iraqi army. It is the leadership from that army that leads the troops of ISIS. Congratulations to our neo-cons and George W. The Taliban are coming back in Afghanistan while warlords prosper and grow opium poppies. Great going to America's CIA. Libya is a mess that drones on, and that one requires kudos to Mr. O and Mrs. C. Maybe it's time for us to get the idea and stop running the world; we do it very badly. At least Iran is getting its act together despite the best efforts of American politicians since Eisenhower to make a hash of that great nation.

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Iraq sends troops to key refinery amid Islamic State clashes

Iraq sends troops to key refinery amid Islamic State clashes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
BAGHDAD (AP) — Reinforcements were rushed to Iraq's key Beiji refinery amid heavy fighting with Islamic State militants who have been trying to capture the facility for months, Iraqi officials said Tuesday. But Brig. Gen.…
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The neo-con inspired invasion of Iraq has left us facing exactly the kind of massive populist war that Saddam predicted. Still those same jabbering pundits what to run American foreign policy. Will the American people ever again trust the GOP in foreign policy? Of course they will because they don't recognize that this mess is from Bush not Obama. Such a sadly unthinking nation we have become—or perhaps have always been.

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More Than 600 Reported Chemical Exposure in Iraq, Pentagon Acknowledges

More Than 600 Reported Chemical Exposure in Iraq, Pentagon Acknowledges | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Defense officials said they failed to recognize the scope of the reports from Americans who served in Iraq, or to offer them adequate care.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

This is horrifying, not because some of our troops didn't get the treatment they certainly deserved but because of what it implies about the Busch administration lies. If they believed there were weapons of mass destruction, if they believed there was a chemical and biological warfare program in Iraq, why had they not set up any data collection and treatment program for troops who were exposed? Obviously, they knew they had lied. In my opinion, no administration in history has done worse service to us than the Bush crew.

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The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons

The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons | Upsetment | Scoop.it
The Pentagon kept silent as munitions left over from Saddam Hussein’s war with Iran found new targets from 2004 to 2011: American and Iraqi troops.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

As with Agent Orange in Vietnam, our service men and women had more to fear from the dishonesty of our own military in Iraq and with its unwillingness to recognize dangers to troops than from the enemy. At least when somebody is shooting at you, you can shoot back. But when your own leaders aren't telling you the truth, you just get to sit there and take it. Just another reason why we have to limit the military-industrial-espionage industry.

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Iraqi troops torture and execute civilians in secret videos

Iraqi troops torture and execute civilians in secret videos | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Elite unit was once praised by U.S. military officials
Kenneth Weene's insight:
When you break something, you become responsible for it. Sadly, the more the US tries to be involved in Iraq the more we break it. The elite army units that we helped to create are vicious thugs engaged in the same kind of behavior that occurs under the Taliban or ISIS. If these are our allies, why are we bothering to fight? Shame on them and shame on us. (Warning, the story contains very upsetting videos)
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Goodbye, Islamic State. Hello, Anarchy.

Goodbye, Islamic State. Hello, Anarchy. | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Goodbye, Islamic State. Hello, Anarchy. « | Foreign Policy | the Global Magazine of News and Ideas
Kenneth Weene's insight:
As Mosul demonstrates so clearly, the American invasion of Iraq left exactly the kind of power struggle that Joe Biden had warned against and the George H W Bush had been so aware of. Worse, we look at Libya and Afghanistan and see the same kind of fractioning of a country. While much of the blame goes for this chaos goes back before the American era to the colonists who created artificial national governments and borders, quite simply the US and its allies under George W. Bush and in Libya under Obama simply ignored the realities of division. Now in all three countries the question is how to put Humpty Dumpty back together. In Afghanistan the answer is probably to allow the Pashtun to rule, which means the Taliban. In Iraq it may mean division into three or more countries. In Libya it may mean allowing the emergence of a new strongman. 

So has America learned anything from all this? I fear not as we attack in Yemen and put boots on the ground in Syria. Instead, we try to convince ourselves that the chaos is nor of our making and that somehow it reflects societies and beliefs less worthy than our own. What fools we have become. 
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The Islamic State has been a catastrophe for Sunnis

The Islamic State has been a catastrophe for Sunnis | Upsetment | Scoop.it
ISIS has been a catastrophe for Sunnis in Iraq and Syria
Kenneth Weene's insight:
Call it the war against ISIS, ISIL, or DAESH, in the end like all wars it is leaving too many hapless and overwhelmed in its wake. What is the future of Iraq and particularly of its large Sunni minority? At least so far, the Shiite and Kurdish troops have not embraced the goal of genocide, but the state of things is horrific. Can we hope that the central government of Iraq will find a new way to organize the people of that land so that the various groups and tribes that make up its population can live together and prosper? 
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‘We are desperate’: Iraqis flee Fallujah, only to find another nightmare

‘We are desperate’: Iraqis flee Fallujah, only to find another nightmare | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Over 85,000 have fled, with more expected to follow, as forces battle the Islamic State for the city.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
If the United States and Western Europe want to create more jihadist groups in Iraq, this is the way to do it. By underfunding and under-supplying assistance to those displaced by the fight against ISIS, we create new cadres of dispossessed and angry refugees looking for an answer from Allah rather than believing in their fellow humans. Hell, maybe believing in a fictitious god is better than believing in humanity. 
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How the ‘Green Zone’ Helped Destroy Iraq

How the ‘Green Zone’ Helped Destroy Iraq | Upsetment | Scoop.it
It was only a matter of time before ordinary Iraqis stormed the walled-in palaces of their corrupt politicians.
Kenneth Weene's insight:
This is just one example of how little thought went into America's invasion of Iraq. One mark of a failed empire is the creation of failed governmental institutions in the countries it has controlled. Congratulations Bush-Cheney and the regime changing repiglicans.
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Exclusive: Samples confirm Islamic State used mustard gas in Iraq - diplomat

Exclusive: Samples confirm Islamic State used mustard gas in Iraq - diplomat | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Islamic State militants attacked Kurdish forces in Iraq with mustard gas last year, in the first known use of chemical weapons in Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein, a diplomat said, after tests by the global chemical arms watchdog.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Is there some reason why anyone would expect a rogue terrorist group to follow the humanitarian rules of International Law? This is sad evidence that there is no possible peace with the Islamic State. That is the problem with religiously driven war, it has no reasonable conclusion. 

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Putin ‘Seducing’ Iraq’s Tribes

Putin ‘Seducing’ Iraq’s Tribes | Upsetment | Scoop.it
‘Russia is serious in fighting terrorism,’ one sheikh tells The Daily Beast, ‘unlike the U.S.’
Kenneth Weene's insight:

Of course, the U.S. having created a regime has no capacity to recognize that the regime it has created is a farce and a failure. Just as in Afghanistan, the American intelligence community reveals its total lack of intelligence. Russia on the other hand wants Iraq to splinter. If he can build a coalition of Sunni tribes, they will give him credibility among the Muslims of Russia who don't want ISIS and it will give him a strong ally against Iran. Putin has no commitment to Iraq as a country. By the way, does anybody remember that many, including Joe Biden and myself were saying that Iraq should break into three cohesive parts? I still think that's the way to go. 

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Welcome to Basrastan

Welcome to Basrastan | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Iraq’s oil-rich southern province is pulling away from Baghdad's central government. And it's not alone.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

When Saddam was toppled, there was an opportunity to make Iraq a better place. If the U.S. was going to pursue nation building—an idiotic goal, but the one that was at hand—that was the moment to develop a new model that would allow the creation of meaningful coalition of regions or states with a federal government. Alternatively, Iraq could have been broken up into three (or more) sections, Shia, Sunni, and Kurd (The Joe Biden suggestion) and that might have been stable. But no, the Bush administration sent incompetents and backed dishonest politicians. Yeah, GOP and neo-cons, the blame is still yours. Sadly, blaming doesn't help the people of Iraq. Still, anybody have some shoes we can throw?

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The Enemy You Know and the Ally You Don’t

The Enemy You Know and the Ally You Don’t | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Arming Iraq's Sunni militias to fight the Islamic State may seem like a quick fix, but newly declassified documents suggest it might only add fuel…
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The rush to take down the government of Iraq has produced, as Saddam Hussein predicted, a quagmire of horrifying and unprecedented proportions. Now, there are Americans, especially from the right, demanding that we somehow have to make things there right. I have no solution to offer, but were I POTUS, I would ask Iran, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and possibly Egypt and Russia, to join in figuring out what to do. I would tell those other countries that they, not we, are the legitimate powers in the area and that our only caveat is that our client state of Israel must survive and that all people must be treated fairly. Haven't we played the fool long enough?

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12 Years Later, a Mystery of Chemical Exposure in Iraq Clears Slightly

12 Years Later, a Mystery of Chemical Exposure in Iraq Clears Slightly | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Since moving abandoned barrels out of an Iraqi warehouse in 2003, a number of soldiers complained of health effects. But they found the Army evasive.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The Second Iraq War was not only unnecessary but badly managed. Obviously if you believe there are poisonous weapons of mass destruction around, you don't send plain troops without protective suits and with no special training to empty weapons depots and warehouses. Just one more example of the incompetency of the Bush administration, of the bureaucratic dysfunction of our military, and of how disconnected from the common people our government has become. Of course there are risks in the military, but our troops are not expendable pawns who should sent to die for political stupidity. 

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In 2003, U.S. experts doubted key Iraq war claim: cable

In 2003, U.S. experts doubted key Iraq war claim: cable | Upsetment | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A CIA cable disclosed on Thursday showed that U.S. counter terrorism officials in 2003 discounted reports that a leader of the Sept. 11 attacks met an Iraqi intelligence official in Prague just before the attacks, further undermining a Bush administration argument for the invasion of Iraq. Senator Carl Levin released a newly declassified section of a March 11, 2003 cable that undercut administration statements that Mohammed Atta and Iraqi agent Ahmad al-Anian had met in th
Kenneth Weene's insight:

The question in my mind for some time was how much of the lying that led to the foolish invasion of Iraq came from the military-industrial-espionage complex and misled the administration and how much was it the White House leading the way in the face of information. This document appears to make it clear that the administration was calling the shots, all in the wrong direction.

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Uncle Sucker to the Rescue

Uncle Sucker to the Rescue | Upsetment | Scoop.it
Washington is making all its favorite mistakes in (another) Iraq war.
Kenneth Weene's insight:

What this well written piece reminds us  and what most Americans have not yet understood is that the entire military-espionage community is devoted to creating war scenarios. War has become a major American industry and the real goal is simply to keep the country expending weapons and making noise. That it is in the long run absolutely foolhardy and designed to make the country a pariah never enters the minds of the people involved. It is a sad commentary on what Amerika has become. 

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