Sunday, August 21, 2016


Though he still has no Congressional authorization to bomb Iraq, Barack Obama continued with the strikes against the country today.  The US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted eight strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Bashir, a strike suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Hit, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a fighting position.

-- Near Mosul, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed a fighting position and a vehicle.

-- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, two rocket rails, two rocket systems, and two vehicle bomb storage facilities and denied access to terrain.

-- Near Ramadi, a strike destroyed two ISIL vehicles.

-- Near Tal Afar, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle checkpoint and a vehicle and suppressed two mortar positions.

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.

As the bombing continued, so did this disregard for human life.

families, such as Hamida's, flee conflict only to be displaced multiple times

Rather than help the refugees, various participants try to the game the situation so that they personally benefit.  Youssef Hamza (THE NATIONAL) details how the Shi'ite militias are hoping to do just that:

With a humanitarian emergency already emerging from the fighting south of Mosul – tens of thousands of Sunni Iraqis already had fled their homes – the presence of Shiite militiamen in the area may not be the most suitable arrangement.

    The militia’s constant demands to be part of every battle against ISIL arises from their fear of marginalisation now that Mosul is the last major city in the hands of the militants. They also feel they need to be closely associated with the fight against ISIL to allow them to make maximum political gain in post-ISIL Iraq. Being seen as a major player in the liberation of Mosul could only help their quest to form the nucleus of an Iraqi force modelled on Iran’s Revolutionary Guard. Such a force would be independent from the army and police and answer only to a high religious authority – most likely Iran’s Ali Khameini rather than Iraq’s, Iranian-born Al Sistani.

      Even before the battle for Mosul began, militia leaders were campaigning to replace the army as the force in charge of security in the capital after nearly 300 people were killed in a suicide bombing last month in central Baghdad. The government of prime minister Haider Al Abadi is resisting such a move.

      The militias -- those connected to Iran -- are also the subject of new rumors.  ASHARQ AL-AWSAT reports:

      It seems that Iran is plotting to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Iraq Thamer al-Sabhan using RPJ7 rockets on his armored car.
      Informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that Iraqi Shia militias have three plots to attack and that the militias are directly-linked to Iran. Of these militias the sources revealed Khorasan Battalions and another group that works with the Secretary General of Abu Fadl al-Abbas Forces Ous al-Khafaji.

      A source told Asharq Al-Awsat over the phone that each plot is different, but the operation is set to happen as soon as possible. He explained that Khorasan Battalions’ plot was uncovered, while the plot of Abu Fadl al-Abbas Forces was revealed in the past few days.

      If that happens, among the disgraced will be the Iraq ambassador to the US who has taken part in verbal attacks on Thamer al-Sabhan.

      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] 4520 (including 20 in Operation Inherent Resolve which includes at least 3 Iraq War fatalities).

      New content is almost up at Third.  Ruth's "I believe in Jill" has gone up and the following:

    • The e-mail address for this site is