Sunday, April 17, 2016


Remember all the hand wringing about others using child soldiers?  Not the brave west, of course, but others?

Well while the US was lecturing, their partner the United Kingdom appears to have been sending child soldiers into Iraq.  Alice Ross (GUARDIAN) reports:

A former senior director at a British firm says that it employed mercenaries from Sierra Leone to work in Iraq because they were cheaper than Europeans and did not check if they were former child soldiers.
James Ellery, who was a director of Aegis Defence Services between 2005 and 2015, said that contractors had a “duty” to recruit from countries such as Sierra Leone, “where there’s high unemployment and a decent workforce”, in order to reduce costs for the US presence in Iraq.

Oh, well, you say, this was the UK.

ADS had contracts in Iraq to protect US bases.

And historical fun fact:

  • Winston Churchill's grandson is the chairman of British defence company that deployed former child soldiers in Iraq.

  • War is big business.

    It also tends to be a family business.

    Iraq's Parliament is supposed to meet on Monday.

    Whether or not they'll vote on the proposal of a Cabinet of 'technocrats' is anyone's guess.

    Haider's proposal is him yet again doing the bidding of the White House.

    Earlier this month, Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced visit to Iraq.


    The whole point was to shore up Haider al-Abadi.

    Mostapha Hamza and Moad Fayad (ASHAR AL-ASWAT) note, "The Iraqi crisis has begun burning out of proportion, after protests staged by several ministers for toppling Parliamentary Spokesman Salim al-Jabouri, which simultaneously pushed Washington towards threatening to use force for the protection of its interests, especially the three premierships in Iraq."

    It's never about what's best for the Iraqi people.

    The White House is only interested in protecting their own interests -- which continue to be about breaking up Iraq's control of its own oil so that the corporations that buy the US elections can get richer.

    Jason Ditz (ANTIWAR.COM) notes the split among Shi'ite politicians with some supporting Haider's proposals and others opposing them.  Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (2006 - 2014) and his State of Law coalition have been the most vocal Shi'ite critics of Haider's proposal, "Former PM Ayad Allawi sees that as no accident, saying he believes the Iranian ayatollahs are setting up Maliki as a foil for Abadi. Maliki is seen as closer to the Shi’ite militia factions, which are themselves backed heavily by Iran."

    When not attempting to control who controls the government, the White House is busy ordering the continued bombing of Iraq.  Today, the US Defense Dept announced:

    Strikes in Iraq
    Rocket artillery and ground-attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
    -- Near Fallujah, a strike destroyed an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL recoilless rifle.
    -- Near Haditha, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and a vehicle-borne bomb.
    -- Near Hit, three strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, an ISIL excavator and an ISIL vehicle.
    -- Near Irbil, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system.
    -- Near Kisik, a strike destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.
    -- Near Mosul, six strikes struck six separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position, four ISIL assembly areas and three ISIL vehicles.
    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed an ISIL rocket rail.
    -- Near Sinjar, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
    -- Near Sultan Abdallah, a strike destroyed an ISIL mortar system.

    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.

    Nearly two straight years of daily strikes and the only 'tweek' Barack can find to this 'plan' is to put more US troops on the ground in combat.

     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] 4498 (plus 10 in Operation Inherent Resolve which includes at least 1 Iraq War fatality).

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