Sunday, January 11, 2015


Isabel Coles, Saif Hameed, Ned Parker and Gareth Jones (Reuters) report that Saturday and Sunday saw battles in the Kurdish town of Gwer which left at least 24 Kurdish security forces dead.

This is exactly the sort of attack we were talking about October 26th with regards to the Kurdistan Regional Government sending Peshmerga forces not just out of the KRG but out of Iraq into Kobane:

Kitabat carries an AFP report about members of Iraq's Parliament expressing doubt that the KRG can independently send Peshmerga outside of Iraq without the permission of the Iraqi Parliament.  (The Kurdistan Regional Government is a group of three or four provinces in northern Iraq which are semi-autonomous.)  Kitabat also features Hussein Zangana's argument that the deployment is legal and does not require a stamp of approval from the Iraqi Parliament.
I don't doubt the legality of the KRG's move.
I just question why you send the Peshmerga out of Iraq when they should be needed in Iraq?
Shouldn't their efforts right now be focused on, for example, Mount Sinjar where the Yazidis continue to be held hostage?
The UN is calling it a possible genocide and yet the Peshmerga has forces to spare to send out of the country?
It makes no sense.
And expect huge outrage if the Islamic State stages a major attack in the KRG while Peshmerga forces are sent to the  Syrian border.

The Reuters reporters call the Gwer attack "one of the deadliest single battles for the Kurds since last summer."

This should be the incident which prompts the KRG to utilize the Peshmerga to protect the KRG.

It would appear that their years of being the 'calmer' Iraq have lulled them into a false sense of security.

Ahlul Bayat News Agency notes, "Kurdish-controlled Gwer is likely to be a launch-pad for any future attempt by Iraqi and Kurdish forces to retake Mosul, the biggest city in northern Iraq which ISIS seized last June."

Meanwhile AFP reports that Prime Minister of Iraq Haider al-Abadi is slamming the coalition the US government has put together and saying it is taking to long to provide "military support" to the Iraq military, "The international coalition is very slow in its support and training of the army."

Now to pick up on an issue I hoped to address on Saturday night.

Friday's remarks upset a few people.  I'm sorry to upset anyone with an opinion -- I'm not likely to fret over upsetting anyone with the ugly facts.

My opinion has been and always will be that people are responsible for their own actions.

The only exception is if someone is mentally incapacitated.

If someone is mentally ill, their illness can be sparked by anything.

I never believed -- and never will -- that Martin's film Taxi Driver was responsible for the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan.  I don't believe Jodie Foster's stardom are attractiveness were responsible either.

John Hinkley was mentally ill.

I am furious many times a day.  I've never picked up a gun to shoot someone.

If I do, I'm either mentally ill or I'm acting on my desires.

Unless I'm mentally incapacitated, I'm responsible for my actions.

You can disagree with that take and many do.

But if you do disagree with it, you better own up to the fact that what you're disagreeing with is also the disagreement the US government offers for refusing to release various photos and reports -- that it would cause violence.

So you can have that opinion but you better own up to the fact that your opinion supports censorship and government secrecy.

I'm traveling in some vehicle
I'm sitting in some cafe
A defector from the petty wars
That shell shock love away
-- "Hejira," written by Joni Mitchell, first appears on her album of the same name

 The number of US service members the Dept of Defense states died in the Iraq War is [PDF format warning] 4494.  (It's actually 4492 but they haven't updated the toll since the most recently announced death.)

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