Kumi Naidoo

IRAQ VETERANS WARN OBAMA AGAINST MILITARY ACTION

        
Press Advisory from Veterans For Peace    
             216 S. Meramec Avenue St. Louis, MO 63105 (314) 725-6005


                           www.veteransforpeace.org


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
            


IRAQ VETERANS WARN OBAMA AGAINST MILITARY ACTION

WHENThursday June 19, 2014 (tomorrow) at 1 pm EDT
WHERE:  The National Press Club, Lisagor Room
                   529 14th St. NW, 13th Floor
                   Washington D.C. 20045

WHAT: As Iraq approaches the brink of another civil war U.S. veterans of the war in Iraq call on the Obama administration to learn from the lessons of our country’s past and to pursue non-military diplomatic solutions in supporting the people of Iraq in reaching reconciliation. Those veterans who have served inside of Iraq know intimately that not one more life should be lost inside of Iraq due to U.S. military actions neither service members nor Iraqis.
WHO: Veterans of the Iraq War Calling for An End To U.S. Military Intervention in Iraq with military family members and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern




PRIMARY SPOKESPEOPLE:

Ross Caputi is a Marine Corps veteran of the 2nd siege of Fallujah. Today he is on the Board of Directors of ISLAH (www.reparations.org) and he is a member of Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Matt Southworth is an Army veteran of the Iraq War.  He currently works in Washington, DC for Friends Committee on National Legislation and he is a member of Veterans For Peace.

Tim Kahlor is the father of medically retired Sgt. Ryan Kahlor. His son served over 24 months in 2 tours in Iraq.  He is a member of Military Families Speak Out.

Ray McGovern served as an Army infantryman/Intelligence officer in the early Sixties and was then a CIA analyst for 27 years. He a co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).



SPONSORS: Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) , Veterans For Peace (VFP),  Military Families Speak Out (MFSO)


Attention Media: On camera interviews will be available with various Iraq veterans and family members.





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* Veterans For Peace is a 29-year-old U.S. based nonprofit educational organization with chapters in over 100 US cities and several international chapters.  VFP members include veterans of World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the US occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as non-veteran allies.  The mission of Veterans For Peace is to abolish war as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy.




 








Veterans For Peace, 216 S. Meramec, St. Louis, MO 63105, 314-725-6005

www.veteransforpeace.org

Ukraine News - June 19 , 2014

 

Ukraine's president offers unilateral ceasefire after talks with Putin, Merkel - Fox News


VIDEO: Ukrainian President calls for peace plan after Putin phone call - euronews


Ukraine to cease fire in eastern regions in next few days: acting defense minister - ITAR-TASS


Military operation to secure Ukraine's eastern border nearly complete, says defense minister - UPI.com


Ukraine’s Poroshenko nominates new Foreign Minister, suggests relieving Deshchytsia from post after he shouted “Putin is a dickhead” - RIA Novosti


Russian diplomat welcomes Ukraine president’s choice for foreign minister - ITAR-TASS


Poroshenko offers condolences over death of Russian journalists in Ukraine - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine's Poroshenko proposes ally as central bank chief - Yahoo News UK


Ukraine’s Parliament Proposes to Dissolve, calls new elections - RIA Novosti


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Rebels Reject Ukrainian Leader’s Cease-Fire Idea, “If they want peace, then they can leave” - NYTimes.com


Donetsk, Luhansk leaders say contacts with presidential settlement envoy are impossible until Ukrainian troops stay - ITAR-TASS


'No to war!': Thousands of miners protest Kiev’s crackdown on E. Ukraine (VIDEO) - RT News


Lavrov: Moscow expects full-scale ceasefire from Ukrainian authorities and negotiations with southeast separatists - voiceofrussia.com


VIDEO (Russian): Lavrov Urges Ukraine to Negotiate With Pro-Russian Separatists - YouTube


Russian Army Ready for Any Developments in Ukraine, World: Defense Minister - RIA Novosti


U.N. Report Details Casualties in Eastern Ukraine - NYTimes.com


REPORT (Full): Report on the human rights situation in Ukraine - United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights


Russia Foreign Ministry: UN report fails to objectively assess Kiev’s criminal actions - ITAR-TASS


Ukraine Defense Ministry says 147 servicemen killed in military operation - ITAR-TASS


2 Russian journalists killed in eastern Ukraine - AP


VIDEO: Moment Ukraine army shell hits Russian TV crew caught on tape - RT News


Kharkiv Mayor Gennady Kernes Returns After Assassination Attempt - The Moscow Times


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Interior minister: Blast at Ukraine gas pipeline due to bomb, security increased - Reuters


Ukrainian pipeline blast caused by poor investment: Gazprom - ITAR-TASS


Ukrainian government is ready to introduce state of emergency in the energy sector - ITAR-TASS


Kiev wants joint EU-Ukraine gas strategy - skynews.com


Moscow to Hold New Gas Talks Only After Kiev Clears its Debt: Russian Energy Minister - RIA Novosti


Hungary to increase reverse-flow gas supply to Ukraine - ITAR-TASS

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

A Brief History of Iraq for Westerners

Iraq was saved from ignorant subhuman barbarism by a gentlewoman named Gertrude at the time that the civilized nations of the world were, in a quite advanced and sophisticated manner, slaughtering their young men in a project now called the First World War. 

Because the Arabs were too backward to be allowed to govern themselves, or even to contemplate creating a world war, and because tribes and ethnicities and religions never really garner much loyalty or support that can't be wiped away with a good cup of tea or a few clouds of poison gas, and because the French were too dumb to know where the oil was, it became necessary for the British to install an Iraqi leader who wasn't Iraqi, through a democratic election with one candidate running.

The great Winston Churchill explained the governance of Iraq and the new civilizing technique of bombing civilians thusly: "I am strongly in favor of using poison gas against uncivilized tribes." Others failed to see the wisdom, and the Royal Air Force used non-chemical "terror bombing, night bombing, heavy bombers, [and] delayed action bombs (particularly lethal against children)" to police disobedient Iraqis. Only by developing these techniques on Iraqis were the world's civilizers prepared to use them on Nazis when the time came to level German cities in the name of defeating Nazis, which of course also places the rest of this paper beyond the reach of moral criticism.

Iraqis, from the formation of Iraq by Gertrude to this day, were never quite able to create a democracy for the CIA to overthrow as in neighboring Iran.  But the idea that Iraqis have been violent or resistant to control because of lack of representation misses the central fact that people in the Middle East enjoy killing each other over sectarian differences.  Of course it's hard to find evidence of significant sectarian fighting in Iraq prior to 2003 and some say there wasn't any.  There was violent looting of Jewish neighborhoods in 1941, but the British government keeps all information on that event secret.  There was bombing of synagogues in Baghdad in 1950-51 but that turned out to have been done by Zionists trying to convince Jews to come to Israel.  And "until the 1970s nearly all Iraq's political organisations were secular, attracting people from all religions and none."  But what was simmering just below the surface waiting to burst out at the slightest scratching?

Think how little it took.  Supporting and arming a brutal dictator in Saddam Hussein and his catastrophic war against Iran, then bombing Iraq and imposing the most murderous sanctions in history, and then newly bombing Iraq and occupying it for 8 years while arming and training death squads and torturers and imposing sectarian segregation, creating 5 million refugees, and killing a half-million to a million-and-a-half people, while devastating the nation's infrastructure, and then imposing a puppet government loyal to one sect and one neighboring nation.  That, plus arming the new government for vicious attacks on its own people, while arming mad killers in neighboring Syria, some of whom want to combine parts of Syria and Iraq: that was all it took, and suddenly, out of nowhere, ignorant Arabs are killing each other, just out of pure irrationality, just like in Palestine.

During the 8 years of U.S.-led occupation people mistook purely irrational violence that had been bubbling under the surface for centuries for resistance to the occupiers, and now some imagine that part of the violence against the puppet government is motivated by grievances against that government. But this misses the fundamental truths here, which are:

1. Shock and Awe was meant to put people at ease and make them comfortable.

2. The plan to rid Iraq of weapons it was about to use against those of us who matter was successful beyond the wildest expectations, working retroactively by a decade.

3. Our great leaders, Bush and Cheney, meant well in giving Iraqis freedom even if they weren't ready for it.

4. The election of Maliki was even more legitimate than the election of Faisal.

5. When the Bush-Maliki treaty ended the U.S. military presence in Iraq, that was thanks to President Obama who is way smarter than Bush but couldn't get Iraq to let U.S. troops stay with immunity for crimes -- crimes of course being necessary for policing, just ask Winnie.

6. When Iraq remained a disaster, that was President Obama's fault for focusing too much on murdering people in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Yemen, and never Iraq -- as if we just don't care about Iraq any more.

7. The U.S. weapons being seized and used against the U.S. puppet government in Iraq are no match for the vast stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction that we can and must ship into Iraq now to be seized and redirected later on down the road.

8. The few people getting rich from all of this misery mean well.

Iraq News - June 18, 2014


White House: US not ready to make decision on military action in Iraq - theguardian.com


US focus shifts away from airstrikes in Iraq - AP


Conducting U.S. airstrikes in Iraq would be complicated, former military officers say - The Washington Post


POLL: Voters support Obama approach in Iraq over NeoCon Republicans - publicpolicypolling


White House sending special forces to advise the Iraqi army and provide embassy security, will not be engaged in combat - Fox News


U.S. deploys amphibious transport dock ship Mesa Verde to Persian Gulf in response to Iraq crisis - UPI.com


VIDEO: USS Mesa Verde Heads to Iraq - DoDLive


John Kerry: U.S. Open To Cooperating With Iran Over Iraq Conflict - huffingtonpost.com


Pentagon: No joint military acts with Iran in Iraq - WHDH-TV


British embassy reopens in Tehran as Iraq crisis helps thaw Iran relations - theguardian.com


Iran Offers Iraq ‘Everything it Needs’ to Fight ISIS - The Daily Beast


Iraq says Saudi Arabia "siding with terrorism" - Al Akhbar English


Qatari: U.S. intervention in Iraq would be seen as war on Sunni Arabs - Enquirer Herald


Syrian war planes strike inside Iraq with the help of Iranian intelligence, sources say - Fox News


Iraq Shiite volunteers in Syria head home to fight rebels: NGO - THE DAILY STAR


Gunmen loyal to the rebel Free Syrian Army and al-Qaeda's Syrian franchise Al-Nusra Front seize Iraq-Syria border crossing - skynews.com


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Maliki stands with Sunni leaders, appealing for Iraqi unity - Reuters


Spokesman defends Maliki against claims of sectarianism (VIDEO) - CNN.com Blogs


Maliki fires 4 Iraqi Army commanders for failing 'their national duty' when confronted by ISIS - UPI.com


Sistani stresses need for unity over sectarianism in battle for Iraq - Al-Monitor


VIDEO: Interview with Kurdistan PM Nechirvan Barzani, "calls for independent Sunni region like Kurdistan” - BBC News


Kurdistan PM Nechirvan Barzani and Iran Discuss Iraq as Rebels Advance - Rudaw


U.N. says ISIS rebels carried out ‘cold-blooded executions’ in Iraq - The Washington Post


VIDEO: Alleged ISIS executions in Iraq - CNN


Iraq's children of war: ISIS Rebels force boys to watch execution and youngsters join regime troops (VIDEO, PHOTOS) - Mail Online


40 Indians kidnapped in Iraq's Mosul, involvement of ISIS rebels suspected - The Times of India


46 Indian nurses stranded in Tikrit narrate their ordeal “in the line of fire” of ISIS - Khaleej Times


ISIS forces beaten back by Iraqi military forces and allied Shia militias in Baqubah - Threat Matrix


Allegation of Shiite sectarian killings of Sunnis near Baqubah: 44 detainees killed - Fox News


VIDEO: Gunfight to keep militants at bay in Baqubah - BBC News


Iraqi Turkmen Front takes up arms against ISIS - Worldbulletin News


Fears of sectarian killings rise in Baghdad after Sunni imam, two aides found dead - The Washington Post


Officials in Iraq say an explosion in Baghdad's Shiite Sadr City district has killed 10 people - huffingtonpost.com


Iraq: Key Iraqi oil refinery shuts down as Islamists press to seize it - Kentucky.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

The ISIS War in Iraq Has Roots Much Deeper Than Sectarian Violence | Mnar Muhawesh Interview

Originally posted at PopularResistance.org

Joining Dennis on the show today to make sense of all this is Mnar Muhawesh. She is the founder, CEO and editor in chief of Mint Press News, and also a regular speaker on responsible journalism, sexism, neoconservativism within the media and journalism start-ups.

Episode breakdown|

24 Years of US War on Iraq - No Bombing Now!

by Debra Sweet      Within days or hours, the U.S. may be bombing Iraq again.  John Kerry predicts drone strikes on Iraq. Democracy Now says today, "The U.S.S. George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier has recently arrived in the Persian Gulf. The carrier is accompanied by the U.S.S. Philippine Sea guided-missile cruiser and the U.S.S. Truxtun guided-missile destroyer, both of which carry Tomahawk missiles that can reach Iraq."  It's time to be in the streets in protest, demanding NO further war on Iraq.

Pakistan court orders case against CIA drone attacks

A Pakistani High Court ordered Pakistani police to lodge a complaint against former CIA station chief Jonathan Banks on Thursday, for the killing of civilians in U.S. drone strikes along the country's northwestern border with Afghanistan.Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of Islamabad High Court made the order in a case filed by Karim Khan, a North Waziristan resident and an anti-drone activist whose son and brother were both killed in a drone strike in 2009.

Still, the Grim Farce that is Guantanamo

by Debra Sweet         Guantanamo attorney Ramzi Kassem, in his op-ed in Saturday's New York TimesA View from Gitmo, said, “Guantánamo remains at its core a lawless place.”  The torture camp was set in Cuba in 2002 to avoid U.S. and international law, but mostly to provide a place where the Bush regime could make it known, “here, we can do anything we choose to you.”  

Racism: Alive and Well In the U.S. and Israel

            The media is reporting that three teenagers living in illegal Israeli settlements in Palestine are missing, and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated, on evidence he has not chosen to share, that they have been kidnapped by Hamas. In response, he has unleashed a new level of terrorism against Palestinians living in the West Bank, with mass arrests and a new level of harassment that is shocking even for his IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) terrorists.

            At this point the whereabouts of the three missing people is unknown; how and why they left, whether or not there is a criminal component and, if so, who is responsible, are also unknown. One hopes they are found safely. However, the outrage that Israel and the United States is demonstrating by this event is somewhat puzzling at best, and wildly hypocritical at worst.

On Recent Events in Mosul and Other Cities in Iraq

Mosul and other cities in Iraq are experiencing dramatic, dangerous, and fateful changes.[ISIS fighters in Iraq. Image from Creative Commons/Google.]

The media, especially that which is allied with the Iraqi government and western states, has been focusing on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Syria (ISIS) and its control over several Iraqi cities, provoking its audiences against the militant group. Indeed, ISIS terrorist groupings do exist among armed groups there and its influence in the recent events is clear. However, it is also true that Iraqis generally reject ISIS, whether in the central or southern regions of Iraq or in parts of the country that are no longer under government control: the so-called "Sunni" areas or the "Sunni Triangle," a term that intelligence services, particularly the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), devised as part of a plan to engineer sectarianism in Iraq. At the same time, Iraqis generally reject Maliki's regime and its policies, built as they are on an ethno-sectarian basis. This is especially the case in urban areas where sectarian discrimination is most concentrated, wherein the government treats ordinary people as political enemies.

The fall of several Iraqi cities in the hands of armed groups does not represent the dreams of the people who live there. Their demands to be rid of sectarianism are clear and direct. They expressed them through nonviolent sit-ins, but armed terrorist groups took advantage of this environment to take power. The people's demands against discrimination and sectarianism are just and fair, whereas Maliki's policies are reactionary and discriminatory, and are therefore rejected. In the meantime, ISIS' control of cities and people poses a serious threat to everyday life and to society.

Popular demands have morphed into a tool for reactionary forces to divide up the political pie, from the terrorists of al-Qa’ida, the Baath Party, and tribal leaders to the Shi'a religious leadership that has called for open warfare and the Kurdish nationalist forces that have achieved military and political gains. This all comes at a moment when Iraq has clearly become divided according to the wills of dominant political forces, whereas the will of the Iraqi people remains ignored.

Regional forces that benefit from Iraq's disintegration—especially Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey—operate in their own way to achieve political gains. All the while the US government—the prime cause of these problems to begin with—prepares to intervene however it chooses. President Obama has so far expressed his concern over Iraqi oil twice when talking about recent events. He has not shown any regard or concern for the fate of two million people now under the control of ISIS, or for the women who have started committing suicide in Mosul as a result of ISIS gangs. The working class in Iraq is the common force that exists across the county, from the north of Kurdistan to the furthest points south. It is this force whose very existence and survival depends on the eradication of discrimination and the unification of the Iraqi people. This is the only force that can end fragmentation and division.

We reject US intervention and protest President Obama's inappropriate speech in which he expressed concern over oil and not over people. We also stand firmly against the brazen meddling of Iran.

We stand against the intervention of Gulf regimes and their funding of armed groups, especially Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

We reject Nouri al-Maliki's sectarian and reactionary policies.

We also reject armed terrorist gangs and militias' control of Mosul and other cities. We agree with and support the demands of people in these cities against discrimination and sectarianism.

Finally, we reject the interference of the religious institution and its call for indiscriminate warfare.

We aim to stand with those who represent the interests of the people and to empower them in the face of this dangerous and reactionary attack. We call for a clear international position to curb the deteriorating situation as well as regional interference, and to support the people of Iraq.

Falah Alwan
Federation of Workers’ Councils and Unions in Iraq

This statement originally appeared on Jadaliyya in Arabic and Ali Issa translated it into English.

Falah Alwan is President of the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq

Iran 'saving democracy' in Iraq

susnetflag1

Iran may rescue Iraq from a major threat posed by a Sunni Muslim extremist group formerly aligned with Al Qaeda.

A few days ago, ISIL, a Sunni Muslim group, attacked and captured Iraq's third largest city, Mosul, population 1.8 million, located in Northern Iraq near Iran's border. ISIL stands for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.  The group was formally expelled from Al-Qaeda in February due its extremism and the fact that it was attacking Al Qaeda forces in Syria, where both groups were attacking Syria and its government. (Image: Fabian Bromann)

Talk Nation Radio: Bruce Kent on Peace Activism of Past Several Decades

https://soundcloud.com/davidcnswanson/talk-nation-radio-bruce-kent-on-peace-activism-of-past-several-decades

Bruce Kent is Vice President of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), and of Pax Christi, and of the Movement for the Abolition of War (See http://abolishwar.org.uk ) Born in 1929, Kent joined CND in 1960 and served as its General Secretary and Chair during a period of tremendous growth from 1980 to 1990. He was president of the International Peace Bureau from 1985 to 1992, and the UK organizer of the 1999 Hague Conference.  We discuss the ups and downs, accomplishments and challenges, of the peace movement over the years.

Total run time: 29:00

Host: David Swanson.
Producer: David Swanson.
Music by Duke Ellington.

Download from Archive or LetsTryDemocracy.

Pacifica stations can also download from AudioPort.

Syndicated by Pacifica Network.

Please encourage your local radio stations to carry this program every week!

Please embed the SoundCloud audio on your own website!

Past Talk Nation Radio shows are all available free and complete at
http://davidswanson.org/talknationradio

Ukraine News - June 17, 2014


Russia cuts Ukraine's gas after talks fail - GlobalPost


Ukraine’s stance in gas talks with Russia is ‘blackmail’, a method to negotiate an ultra-low price: Gazprom CEO - RT Business


Gazprom files $4.5 billion lawsuit against Ukraine's Naftogaz - ITAR-TASS


Gazprom Says Further Lawsuits Against Naftogaz to Follow Shortly - RIA Novosti


European Consumers to Receive Russian Gas in Full Volume: Gazprom - RIA Novosti


If Ukraine tries to steal Europe-bound gas, Gazprom will develop alternative routes: Miller (VIDEO) - RT Business


Europe Ready to Consider Opal Pipeline For Future Gas Supplies: Gazprom - RIA Novosti


Gazprom ready to finance supply of gas to European storage facilities - ITAR-TASS


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Ukraine declares emergency in energy sector, to set "economically justified" tariffs for transit of Russian gas through its territory - IANS


PM Yatseniuk says Russia intends to temporarily set the price of gas for Ukraine at $385/1,000 m3 and in winter raise it to $500 - Ukrinform


Ukraine's Naftogaz Sues in Stockholm Over Russia Gas - Capital.gr


The European Union has offered reverse-flow gas supplies to Ukraine at a price lower than that of Russia’s Gazprom: Naftogaz - ITAR-TASS


Naftogaz asking EC for major gas reverse flow from Slovakia - Russia Beyond The Headlines


Ukraine Able to Maintain Domestic Gas Supplies for Several Months - Capital.gr


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Poroshenko calls for Ukraine ceasefire to buy time for peace deal - The Globe and Mail


VIDEO (Ukrainian): Poroshenko announces potential ceasefire plans - YouTube


Ukrainian army ready to cease fire in east in 5-7 days: Security Council chief - ITAR-TASS


Donetsk, Lugansk should hold early local elections: Poroshenko - The Voice of Russia


Ukraine to close border with Russia next week: defence minister - ITAR-TASS


Over 100 people killed in Lugansk in past 2 days: head of self-proclaimed Lugansk republic - Strategic Culture Foundation


Ukraine's army opens mortar fire on community near Lugansk - self-defense - The Voice of Russia


Militia report downing two drones of Ukrainian army - ITAR-TASS


Pro-Russian rebels take Ukraine state bank, 'We want the tax revenues to stay here instead of going to Kiev’ - skynews.com


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Ukraine mourns the 49 servicemen killed after plane shot down, 300 protestors assault the Russian embassy in Kiev - The Westside Story


VIDEO: Protesters attack Russian embassy in Kiev - LiveLeak.com


Ukraine FM Deshchytsia calls Putin dickhead, sparks calls from Russia for his resignation - Business Insider


VIDEO: Ukraine FM Deshchytsia calls Putin dickhead - YouTube


Psaki defends Ukraine FM over 'Putin f**ker' remark, confuses Iraq and Iran (VIDEO) - RT USA


FM Lavrov accuses Ukrainian acting interior minister of connivance with extremists on the rampage in front of the Russian Embassy in Kiev - The Voice of Russia


VIDEO: Lavrov slams Russian embassy attack in Kiev - YouTube


Ukraine Says Russia Has 38,000 Troops on Border Amid ‘Invasion’ - Bloomberg


Approximately 200 Russian Army Vehicles Reported Moving Toward Ukraine Border (VIDEOS) - The Speaker


NATO releases photographs of what it says were suspected Russian tanks delivered to separatists in eastern Ukraine - foreignpolicy.com


NATO Says Russia Considers it an Opponent, Prepares Ukraine Aid - atlanticcouncil.org


Russia prepares plan for complete substitution of military products from Ukraine: Rogozin - The Voice of Russia

 

To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Labeling Latino Kids as Gangsters: DA says Speaking Spanish in Public and Wearing Sportswear Signify Gangsterism

By Kathy Swift

 

Santa Barbara, CA -- What can we learn from the medieval church about biometric identification? Quite a lot it turns out, at least according to Santa Barbara city officials.

NO MORE WAR ON IRAQ!

Protest Obama when he speaks at the Democratic Party Fundraiser.

Tuesday, June 17th - 5:30pm

Gothem Hall. 1356 Broadway. (35 & 36th Sts) New York City

Bring your signs and banners.

As US prepares to bomb, what we're not being told about ISIS and the Iraq crisis

By Ross Caputi


Former US marine Ross Caputi says ISIS is not a lone actor in Iraq, capturing territory for a future Islamic state: it is just one faction in a larger popular rebellion against the Maliki government.

ISIS rebels in Iraq

What unites marginalized Sunnis in Iraq and hardcore ISIS ideologues is their desperation to be rid of Prime Minister Maliki.

Ross Caputi, 29, is a US veteran of the occupation of Iraq. He took part in the second battle of Fallujah in November 2004. That experience led him to become an anti-war activist.

This week Iraq emerged from the recesses of American memory and became a hot topic of conversation. Alarming headlines about ISIS’s “takeover” of Mosul and their march towards Baghdad have elicited a number of reactions: The most conservative call for direct US military action against ISIS to ensure that the government of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki remains stable in Baghdad. The most liberal lament the ongoing violence and divisions in Iraqi society caused by the US occupation; though they make no attempt distinguish between the violence of ISIS and the violence of the Maliki government. 

This range of ideas and perspectives is fascinating, and it says much about American war culture, but mostly for the ideas and perspectives that are omitted from this debate. Entirely absent is the perspective of Iraqis and the issues that are important to them: accountability, independence, and resistance. Moreover, the real complexities of this issue have been lost in a number of the Western media’s favorite binaries: terrorism vs. counterterrorism, good vs. evil, and insurgency vs. stability. 

If we dare to take Iraqi voices seriously and think outside of the dominant framework presented to us by the mainstream media, a very different picture of the violence in Iraq emerges and a whole new range of options open up for achieving peace and justice. 

The Rise of ISIS

One year ago ISIS was concentrated in Syria, with almost no presence in Iraq. During this time, a nonviolent protest movement, which called itself the Iraqi Spring, was in full swing with widespread support in the Sunni provinces and significant support from the Shia provinces as well. This movement set up nonviolent protest camps in many cities throughout Iraq for nearly the entire year of 2013. They articulated a set of demands calling for an end to the marginalization of Sunnis within the new Iraqi democracy, reform of an anti-terrorism law that was being used label political dissent as terrorism, abolition of the death penalty, an end to corruption, and they positioned themselves against federalism and sectarianism too.

Instead of making concessions to the protestors and defusing their rage, Prime Minister Maliki mocked their demands chose to use military force to attack them on numerous occasions. Over the course of a year, the protestors were assaulted, murdered, and their leaders were assassinated, but they remained true to their adopted tactic of nonviolence. That is, until Prime Minister Maliki sent security forces to clear the protest camps in Fallujah and Ramadi in December of 2013. At that point the protestors lost hope in the tactic of nonviolence and turned to armed resistance instead. 

It is important to note that from the beginning it was the tribal militias who took the lead in the fight against the Iraqi government. ISIS arrived a day later to aid Fallujans in their fight, but also to piggy-back on the success of the tribal fighters in order to promote their own political goals. 

A command structure was set up in Fallujah within the first weeks of fighting. It consisted primarily of tribal leaders and former army officials and went by the name of the General Military Council for Iraqi Revolutionaries. This council was led by Sheikh Abdullah Janabi, who also led the the Shura Council of Mujihadeen in Fallujah in 2004. After the 2nd US-led assault on Fallujah, Janabi fled to Syria, but returned to Iraq in 2011. His calls for cooperation between the various militant factions in Fallujah was a significant unifying factor

Yet despite the glaring differences between the various militant groups in Fallujah, the Iraqi government insists on treating all fighters as terrorists. A government official said it clearly to Reuters, “if anyone insists on fighting our forces, he will be considered an [ISIS] militant whether he is or not.” The Iraqi government launched an indiscriminate bombing campaign that to date has killed 443 civilians and has wounded 1657 in Fallujah, and has displaced over 50,922 families from Anbar Province as a whole. The Fallujah hospital has been targeted numerous times, and residential neighborhoods have been bombed and shelled daily for six months. Struan Stevenson, President of European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq, wrote an open letter calling the Iraqi government’s operation “genocidal”.

Over the course of the months of fighting with the government, ISIS has grown in strength. Their access to funds and weapons has made them an attractive group to young Sunnis who see no future for themselves in Iraq as long as Maliki remains in power. Many of the recruits who have joined ISIS are the same men who were nonviolent protestors one year earlier. Many of them remain opposed to the ideas of federalism and sectarians—ideas which are central to ISIS’s political platform. What unites them and the hardcore ideologues within ISIS is their desperation to be rid of Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, who has left them with no choice but to operate outside of the political system in order to better their lives in Iraq. 

Insurgency or Revolution? 

This week the media buzzed with the news that ISIS had captured Mosul, the 2nd largest city in Iraq, and was prepared to march towards Baghdad. Two assumptions in these reports went unexamined: that ISIS had been a lone actor and that Mosul had been “captured” rather than liberated. 

While the first assumption is a matter of fact, the latter is a matter of perspective. It was noted in the New York Times that ISIS had collaborated with several local militias in Mosul, including Baathist and Islamist groups; although the significance of such a fact went understated. If one further acknowledges that ISIS has cooperated and continues to cooperate with several militias in several Iraqi cities, it begins to appear that ISIS is not a lone actor in Iraq, attempting to capture territory for a future Islamic state. Rather, it appears that ISIS is just one faction in a larger popular rebellion against the government of Nouri al Maliki. 

When 500,000 residents of Mosul fled their city earlier this week, they did not do so out of fear that ISIS would subject them to sharia courts. They did so out of fear of their government’s reprisal. Many have even expressed gratitude towards the fighters who kicked Maliki’s security forces out of their city. 

This loose coalition of militias—from the tribal militias in Fallujah, to Baathist militias like Naqshabandi, and Islamist groups like ISIS—have come to embody the hopes and aspirations of Sunnis in Iraq to one day be free of Maliki’s oppression. For them there is no other option, no other future is imaginable, and there is no turning back. 

A Path Forward

President Obama has announced that the US would not intervene in Iraq until the Iraqi government made concessions to the disenfranchised Sunni community within Iraq. However, the US has already increased its “intelligence and surveillance assistance” and has shown no sign of decreasing its supply of arms to the Iraqi government. While publicly criticizing the Maliki government’s sectarian policies, the US has been aiding and facilitating this “genocide” against the Sunni population for months.  

The impunity of the Maliki government is never questioned in the debate raging within the US. It is simply unimaginable within the limits of this debate that Maliki might be held accountable for the war crimes his regime has committed against his own people. Equally unimaginable is the notion that his regime should fall and that Iraqis should be able to dismantle the constitution and the institutions that the US-led occupation imposed on them. 

We must take seriously the legitimacy of Sunni resistance, while at the same time taking seriously the fear that a group like ISIS elicits in Shia Iraqis. These fractured communities within Iraq must decide their own future, without the interference of Washington or Tehran. Most importantly for us, as Americans, we must make an effort to analyze this issue outside of the paradigm of US political thought and try to see this issue through the eyes of those most affected by it. We must respect their ideas and values, their politics and culture, and their right to determine their own future, unimpeded by foreign interference.

Source: Common Dreams

What's Really Going on in Iraq

By John Mesler

The latest Truth about the Fighting in Iraq

Things have certainly gotten worse for al-Maliki's government. In the west, the resistance has gained more ground and won more battles against the sectarian Iraqi "government" forces. We continue to read about how Maliki is fighting terrorists ,whether labeled al-Qaeda, al-Nusra or even ISIS or ISIL (same thing) but the truth has remained the same. He is fighting Iraqi resistance fighters who are fighting to re-unite their country.

Since the beginning of this year (Jan.1st, 2014) his indiscriminate bombing of Fallujah alone has wounded 1,647 and killed 443 civilians as of June 12th, 2014, according to Dr. Ahmed Shami Jassen (as told to me by Dr. Muhamad al-Darraji). His bombs have found and hit the hospital in Fallujah no less than 16 times and even according to CNN's own Fareed Zakaria (one of mainstream media's reporters that I find credible) he is "nothing more than a shia thug who sympathizes more with Iran than he does with Iraq". As the resistance continued to occupy al-Maliki's forces in the west (al-Anbar) a very different and interesting event took place just 2 days ago in the north.

Iraq's own version of "Shock and Awe"

The last time I wrote, many of you did not believe what I had to say about al- Maliki calling in his friends, the Iranian militias. Now that even the mainstream media is admitting that fact I hope I have established some credibility. Now our mainstream media reported that on June 13th that ISIS (the Islamist State for Iraq and Syria) took Mosul by surprise and the Iraqi army simply walked away. The truth of the matter is that it was not the ISIS who liberated the province on Nineveh. It is Ibrahim Ezat al-Douri (Saddam Huseins right-hand man in pre 2003 Iraq), leader of the Iraqi National Resistance which consists of the Iraqi people commanded by officers of the old Iraqi Army.

There are also SOME factions of ISIS (the media half- truth again), but not nearly the number they'd like us to believe. Perhaps 20% of the resistance is ISIS. The other is Baa'th party and the very vast majority of Iraqi citizens who want their country back. It is for this reason the churches and Husseiniyat were not closed. Preparations had been planned for more than 2 years under secrecy, and coordination among the various groups was great. They've come to finally free Iraq of its occupiers. This time the occupiers are Iranian militia and its Republican Guard, not Americans.

The decision to liberate Iraq from the Iranian occupation was made after the massacre of Haweijah last year by Maliki. The revolutionary forces treated and captured soldiers of Maliki and handled them with dignity, then released them as long as they promised to not re-enter the fight. The resistance captured many arms, vehicles, tanks and airplanes. Ezat al- Douri, the Commander of the resistance, appeared in Mosul and other places in the newly liberated areas (according to Ibrahim Ebeid ). Banks, schools and other institutions were protected, the TV stations are being readied to operate, and all schools and universities will re-open next week according to Ibrahim's sources.

From what I have learned, most citizens in Mosul welcomed al-Douri with open arms and a two day celebration ensued. Not the reception one would get had these troops actually been ISIS as reported in the rest of the world. As a matter of fact I have just heard that the refinery in Mosul may be open and running again before the publication of this article.

So what are their intentions? Well, so far it truly seems that the main priority is to drive all Iranians back into Iran. No one (other than al-Maliki) can have a problem with that, so the next few weeks should be very interesting.

As I write this, much of Maliki's army has deserted him. You will read that they were all slaughtered by the ISIS, but the truth is that Maliki is killing the army deserters who do not want to kill their fellow Iraqi citizens.

So What Should We Do?

We need to contact our representatives in Washington and do what we did in August and September of 2013. At that time President Obama was being pressured by the corporatocracy to put "boots on the ground" in Syria. We spoke up!! We made the difference. It doesn't happen often but Obama kept his campaign promise. He said we need to speak up. We did and he heard us. Now we need to do it again. The Iraqis don't want our help. We've done enough damage. What will be best for us is also what would be best for Iraq. A free Iraq. Finally free of all occupiers. Then, perhaps, we can once again have a friend in the Mid East who will be willing to be a fair trading partner. But we must also convince our government to recognize in whole the new Iraq. The resistance.

##

I'd like to thank: al-Waleed Khalid, Muhamad al-Darriji, Falcon, Al-Basrahet and dhiqar. Also Khdyer Murshidy of the Baa'th party and General Muzher al-Qaisy for their help on this article. As always, I thank Akkadian Mespotamia for his information and continued friendship along with Hayfaa Ahmed and many other Iraqi friends.

Iraq News - June 16, 2014

 

Iraq Army tries to roll back Sunni militants’ advance, says nearly 300 ISIS militants killed and 50 vehicles destroyed - Bloomberg


VIDEO: Iraq conducts air strikes on ISIS targets - The Washington Post


Maliki Orders Iraqi Troops To Make Stand At Samarra - ibtimes.com


Samarra: Holy City where Iraq is doing battle against Sunni radicals - Telegraph


Shia militia: 'ISIS will not take Baghdad' - The Observer


Shiite militias strike back in Iraq, "We want to show the world that we can protect ourselves” - washingtonpost.com


VIDEO: Shia volunteers leave Basra for Baghdad to confront ISIS - theguardian.com


Powerful Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr calls for a military parade across Iraq - AhlulBayt News Agency


Anti-al-Qaeda Sunni Group Backs Iraq’s Shiite Government - Bloomberg


Kurd forces hold Iraq border crossing with Syria - Arab News 


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Advancing Iraq rebels seize northwest town Tal Afar in heavy battle - Yahoo News


Bombings Kill Up to 21 People in Baghdad - NYTimes.com


ISIS photographs detail execution of Iraqi soldiers (PHOTOS) - The Long War Journal


Iraq crisis: Cracks emerge in fragile alliance of insurgents - FT.com


VIDEO: General Military Council of the Iraqi Revolutionaries: ‘We are stronger than ISIS’ - warincontext.org


Iraq arrest that exposed wealth and power of ISIS jihadists - The Guardian


ISIS By The Numbers: How The Group Funds Terror (VIDEO) - newsy.com


The Future of ISIS and the Sectarian Response: ISIS has Picked a Fight it Cannot Win - Syria Comment


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Obama pushes Iraqis to mend sectarian rifts, prodding the leaders to form a new national unity government - NYTimes.com


US, UK create joint team to prepare for air strikes in Iraq: report - RT News


Security boosted at U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, some personnel are evacuated - The Washington Post


US prepares for talks with Iran to stop ISIS militants, says official - theguardian.com


Iran, US can end Iraq crisis says Rouhani adviser - Al-Monitor


Iran sends 2000 Basiji forces into Iraq to aid fight against ISIS militants - theguardian.com


Beleaguered Iraqis Court Iranian Mastermind of the Shiites Who Fought the U.S. - NYTimes.com


Syria pounds ISIS Northeast bases in coordination with Iraq: activist group - THE DAILY STAR


Syrian army crushes rebel push near Northwest Turkish border - US News


Spread of fighting in Iraq to Turkmen town Tal Afar alarms Ankara - CİHAN


America's Allies Are Funding ISIS: Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia have dual agendas in the war on terror - The Daily Beast


Saudi press blames Iraq PM's 'sectarianism' for unrest - Ahram Online


ISIS recruitment drive in Riyadh also poses a potential threat to the Al Saud family’s rule - Businessweek


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

Meeting Logs: Obama Quietly Coddling Big Oil on “Bomb Trains” Regulations

Cross-Posted from DeSmogBlog

When Richard Revesz, Dean Emeritus of New York University Law School, introduced Howard Shelanski at his only public appearance so far during his tenure as Administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), Revesz described Shelanski as, “from our perspective, close to the most important official in the federal government.”

Manning says US public lied to about Iraq from the start

New York (AFP) - The detained US soldier convicted of leaking a trove of secret documents to WikiLeaks made a rare foray into public life Saturday to warn Americans they were being lied to about Iraq once more.

Chelsea Manning is serving a 35-year prison sentence on espionage charges and other offenses for passing along 700,000 secret documents, including diplomatic cables and military intelligence files, to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks in the largest-scale leak in US history.

"I understand that my actions violated the law. However, the concerns that motivated me have not been resolved," the soldier formerly known as Bradley Manning wrote in a New York Times editorial.

"As Iraq erupts in civil war and America again contemplates intervention, that unfinished business should give new urgency to the question of how the United States military controlled the media coverage of its long involvement there and in Afghanistan."

President Barack Obama said this week he was "looking at all the options" to halt the offensive that has brought militants within 50 miles (80 kilometers) of Baghdad's city limits, but ruled out any return of US combat troops.

Obama has been under mounting fire from Republican critics over the swift collapse of Iraq's security forces, which Washington spent billions of dollars training and equipping before pulling out its own troops in 2011.

While the US military was upbeat in its public outlook on the 2010 Iraqi parliamentary elections, suggesting it had helped bring stability and democracy to the country, "those of us stationed there were acutely aware of a more complicated reality," Manning wrote.

"Military and diplomatic reports coming across my desk detailed a brutal crackdown against political dissidents by the Iraqi Ministry of Interior and federal police, on behalf of Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki. Detainees were often tortured, or even killed."

Manning, a former US Army intelligence analyst, said he was "shocked by our military's complicity in the corruption of that election. Yet these deeply troubling details flew under the American media's radar."

Criticizing the military's practice of embedding journalists, Manning charged that "the current limits on press freedom and excessive government secrecy make it impossible for Americans to grasp fully what is happening in the wars we finance."

Manning is serving out the prison sentence at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas and had requested a name change after court-martial proceedings revealed the soldier's emotional turmoil over sexual identity.

A US Army general denied clemency to Manning in April, upholding the 35-year sentence.

On ThisCantBeHappening! radio: Dave Lindorff and Vietnam Vet and Long-Time Peace Activist John Grant Discuss the Bowe Bergdahl

By Dave Lindorff

 

Bowe Bergdahl, the POW held for five years by the Taliban in Afghanistan who was recently traded for the release of five Taliban detainees from Guantanamo Bay, has been convicted in the halls of Congress and in most of the media as a deserter -- even a traitor or a Taliban convert -- all without any trial or even any evidence. John Grant, a veteran of the Vietmam War, where desertions were common, says it's an old story: As America's losing wars wind down, those who advocated the in the first place and pushed for their continuation try to create a "stabbed in the back" narrative to explain the humiliating defeat of US military forces.

Mosul, Kirkuk ,Salahuddin and Diyala: Protecting Civilians and Providing Relief to Displaced Families Must Come First!

By ICSSI
 

With Mosul, areas of Salahuddin and Kirkuk out of Iraqi government control, the situation for civilians there and in Iraq as a whole is increasingly dangerous. Moment by moment, the media/news agencies are busy gathering news of what has happened and continues to happen in northern Iraq, and with each report, anxiety grows.

 

The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative declares its great concern for the fate of civilians and displaced families in cities beyond the control of the central government. In this critical moment it calls on the Iraqi government and armed groups involved in the conflict in northern Iraq to adhere to international humanitarian law, specifically in providing protection to civilians and their property, as well as to aid workers, ambulances, and civic organizations that seek to help civilians and reduce their suffering. The protection of civilians, hospitals, schools and basic services, as well as sites that house refugees and displaced persons, is a binding legal and humanitarian responsibility for everyone — violating it might bring later accusations of war crimes and crimes against humanity. We stress the need for everyone to recognize the neutrality of Iraqi and international aid workers. Their work is to help all civilians, professionally and without discrimination.

 

We also call on the authorities of the Kurdistan Region to abide by their stated political commitments to support displaced people, and to act on them immediately, allowing families and civilians to cross into safe areas within the region, and to provide them with the necessary relief. We also ask them to provide needed facilities to aid organizations and civic organizations. We call upon the UN and the international community to support regional authorities and organizations working there to provide the urgent aid required to deal with the humanitarian crisis.

 

We also call on local and central governments, along with the Kurdistan Regional Government to take seriously their responsibilities to protect civilians and their property in accordance with established law, the Iraqi constitution, and international laws related to armed conflict and human rights. The can be no rush to collective punitive measures like bombing cities and places where civilians may be harmed. The priority now is to protect civilians, and to review the factors which led to the deterioration of political stability which has resulted in the current security crisis, and to prevent it from spreading to other safe cities.

 

We also call on the politicians elected by the Iraqi people to leave their conflicts aside and direct  their full attention to the selection of a national Iraqi government that is able to unite Iraqis without discrimination or bias. This government must work to build peace with the active involvement of local communities, and to establish an open and public dialogue in which everyone has a voice. The government must adopt a policy of continuous dialogue, and it must reject war as a solution to its political and economic problems. The claim that war can end violence and unrest, that guns can solve problems, is based on a lie — using violence to combat violence can yield no lasting peace, provide no enduring security, as the experiences of Mosul and before it, Fallujah, well attest. Iraqis, Kurds, Arabs — all people in the region — are able, given a stable political atmosphere, to protect their cities and their country. Any international or U.S military intervention will only increase and reinforce the negative effects Iraq has suffered over the past decade.

Rome, June 2014

Iraq News - June 14, 2014


Ayatollah Ali Sistani, Iraq's Highest-Ranking Shia Cleric, Issues Fatwa To Fight ISIS - ibtimes.com


VIDEO: Top Iraqi Shia cleric calls on followers to take up arms against ISIS - euronews


Why Ayatollah Al-Sistani's Iraq Fatwa Is So Important - ibtimes.com


Thousands of Iraqis volunteer to battle ISIS militants - AFP


Iraq PM Maliki Arms Tribes In Fight With Anbar Militants - haberler.com


VIDEO: Recruits from Karbala set off to help fight ISIS - YouTube


ISIS' advance halted at Samarra - The Long War Journal


Iraq PM in embattled Samarra for security meet - GlobalPost


VIDEO: ISIS threatens Samarra shrine - YouTube


President Barzani: Peshmerga in Areas Abandoned by Iraqi Army - Rudaw


Kurdish Peshmerga Say They are Ready if Islamists Bring Fight - Rudaw


Iraq cracks down on ISIS with airstrikes, killing 40 - Daily Sabah


Samarra, Baghdad, Karbala, and Najaf: These cities and their Shi’a shrines will not fall the way that Mosul did - Institute for the Study of War Iraq Updates


U.S. Officials Say 4 of Iraq’s 14 army divisions abandoned their posts under ISIS attack, Other units stationed closer to Baghdad would put up a resistance - NYTimes.com


In Iraq, ISIS militants continue drive, grab 2 towns close to Baghdad - CBS News


Extortion, bank robbery fuel ISIS bloody drive to establish Sharia caliphate (VIDEO) - Fox News


The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Has a Consumer Protection Office, A guide to how the militant group overrunning Iraq actually governs - The Atlantic


ISIS boast of slaughtering 1,700 soldiers after posting beheading video of Iraqi policeman - Mail Online


U.N. Warns of Atrocities, Abuses and Hundreds Dead in Iraq Fighting - NYTimes.com


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Obama Considering 'Targeted' Military Action in Iraq - rollcall.com


VIDEO: President Obama Makes a Statement on Iraq - The White House


TRANSCRIPT: Statement by the President on Iraq - The White House


Report: Carrier Bush to move toward Iraq crisis - AP


Pentagon Said to Plan Increased Surveillance Over Iraq - Bloomberg


Iraq May Turn to Iran for Help, Maliki Aide Says - NYTimes.com


In a phone conversation Rouhani, Maliki stress eradication of terrorism in Iraq - PressTV


Exclusive: Alarmed by Iraq, Iran open to shared role with U.S. - Iran official - Yahoo News


State Department: U.S., Iran Have a 'Shared Interest' in Stabilizing Iraq, But Haven't Discussed the Iraqi Crisis - WSJ


Iranian Proxies Step Up Their Role in Iraq - The Washington Institute for Near East Policy


Hizbullah Vows Not to Intervene in Iraq, Warns of ISIS Spread - Naharnet


Jihadist expansion in Iraq puts Persian Gulf states in a tight spot - The Washington Post


Iraq government to blame for Islamist rebel advance: Saudi prince - Yahoo News


Fears About Iraq Continue to Push Up Oil Prices - NYTimes.com


To contact Bartolo email peaceloversingle_at_gmail.com (replacing _at_ with @)

War, Profits and the U.S. Government

                In 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan. The invasion was purported to be a response to the Taliban’s refusal to surrender Osama bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of the September 11 attacks on the United States, but probably had a lot more to do with enabling the construction of an oil pipeline through Afghanistan. Today, thirteen years later, U.S. soldiers continue to fight there.


Two years later, the U.S, the most powerful country in the world, unleashed its terrorism on Iraq, due, it was said, to the dubious then and later unproven charge that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and was moments away from using them to destroy the American way of life (whatever that is). It wasn’t until 2011 that something that President Barack Obama and his minions decided to call ‘victory’ was sufficient to withdraw U.S. troops.

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