Tracking ID UA-126977798-1
The consequences of war(s) are well documented over the centuries. However collateral damage such as loss of economic stability, loss of family, loss of emotional well being and loss of expertise in a society due to death, injury and the brain drain created by those who have means escaping from war, results in long term suffering for the next generation(s).
Although funding and "trainers" may be allocated to assist in recovery and "capacity building" the gaping hole in the society of those remaining cannot be healed if the attitudes useful as "survivors" in war are not adapted/changed to a longer term view of pursuing an ethically functioning society which continues with a rule of enforceable laws.
The mindset of "getting and hoarding whatever you can regardless of the long term consequences" is understandable, though unsustainable, even during war. But cheating your own community, your own nation and letting criminals go without punishment whether in war torn Iraq or in the USA, is reprehensible. A display of criminality with impunity only further encourages criminals.
We see this starkly now in both Iraq and in the USA. Corruption in government at the local, state/province and national level in organizations supposedly devoted to carrying out the rule of law and justice, is in evidence in both countries. The corruption goes back decades and is intertwined in a symbiotic relationship of dependence on oil, dependence on the military industrial and humanitarian "aid" complexes, criminal networks or individuals (think oligarchs and billionaires) corrupt politicians and government workers supported by a compliant media narrative.
Although technically the wars of 2003 (against Saddam Hussein) and 2014-2018 (against Daesh/ISIS) are over, and billions of dollars in "aid" has been "donated" by the USA, Japan, France, the European Union, NGOs from numerous countries and international organizations...here in Iraq it is difficult to see where much of the money has been diverted to, considering the (still) unfinished buildings, roads in disrepair, lack of adequate health and education, lack of basic electricity and running water, lack of adequate waste treatment, lack of border/immigration control and lack of a working government. www.odi.org/sites/odi.org.uk/files/resource-documents/12782.pdf
However, Americans can't be the ones pointing fingers because our hard earned tax dollars are continually being wasted overseas in countries like Iraq and Ukraine since corruption in their own government, politicians and criminal gangs has been revealed with more indictments to come following the attempted impeachment circus.
No, we (America) have evidence on display of the machinations and manufactured coups by American citizens against their own leaders, within their own institutions and legal system; their own life long politicians connected with criminal networks and mercenaries. A number of American career politicians, court appointees, State Department, Justice Department and National Security Council senior officials were involved in "pay to play" schemes, pay to lie "intel intrigues" and leaking classified information and disinformation to the main stream press.
Meanwhile, money harvested ruthlessly from American taxpayers supposedly for American betterment, maintenance and infrastructure has been channeled into the bank accounts of American politicians and their family members, to illegal aliens and their family members, as well as corrupt shell businesses. www.tierneyrealnewsnetwork.com/post/romney-kerry-biden-mccain-pelosi-schiff-mueller-clinton-are-tied-to-sketchy-ukraine-deals
Portions of some states and cities (Detroit and Baltimore in pics) resemble parts of war torn Iraq and Kurdistan. Compare the photos above and below.
While we haven't had a full on attack by Islamic terrorist groups such as Daesh/ISIS on American soil, or the concurrent attacks on children, recruitment/kidnapping of children into violent extremist groups and sex slavery-America does have the largest criminal "industry" of child sex trafficking in the world, exacerbated by complicity in law enforcement, career politicians, officials and executives in every business and institution (including religious and 'humanitarian' organizations) in the United States.
Unchecked illegal immigration results in higher numbers of children/minors being trafficked into the USA and exploited. Corrupt "foundations" such as the Clinton Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and hundreds of "Charities" use children as lures, shields, experimentees and "products". There is a growing "war" against children and America is considered an "anti-child" nation by millions of people living in other more "child friendly" countries.
Every day I see in my work in Kurdistan, Iraq children who have suffered trauma and sexual abuse yet there will probably never be recourse or therapy for majority of them who are victims of both the wars in Iraq as well as cultural, religious and national taboos. Girls/females are especially vulnerable and generally considered "less valuable" by these societies. They are taught from an early age to "submit" and "keep secrets".
Iraq and the USA, since the 1990s, have intertwined their destinies. They have shed blood together, inter-married, and tried to exploit each other. Before either country can shift to another paradigm, albeit a peaceful more productive one for both nation's citizens, they need to "clean house" at home and finish more of the "unfinished business" they inherited from decades past. This is my observation and considered opinion. I know some of my local friends and colleagues would agree.
Finishing off these late night thoughts with a song called; "Let Them Eat War" by the group Bad Religion. The chorus lyrics are short and incisive:
'Let them eat war [x2] That's how to ration the poor Let them eat war.' www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4ngeLZX5_M
It's been a tough week already...hope it's better for you wherever you are,
Although the name given to this engineered 'virus' is a regal one...Corona...meaning crown, it is also derived from the Latin word which describes a "circle of light" such as the glow around the sun or the moon or during an eclipse of a celestial body. An ephemeral image for a dark sickness.
This virus has been presented as "originating" in Wuhan city in the Hubei province of China. The most sophisticated biological research lab in China, the Wuhan Institute of Virology, is located in Wuhan along with several other major "research labs" affiliated with China's military.
A number of prominent doctors from different countries have concluded this virus was genetically engineered utilizing the Pshuttle vector tool-known to virology researchers. One prominent American, Dr. Francis Boyle (who wrote the 'Biological Weapons Act') stated: “...the coronavirus that we’re dealing with here is an offensive biological warfare weapon that leaked out of that Wuhan BSL-4 [lab].” Here is a quote from an interview done this week on Geopolitics and Empire,:
Dr. Francis Boyle:
"It does seem to me that the Wuhan BSL-4 is the source of the coronavirus, yes. My guess is that they were researching SARS, and they weaponized it further by giving it gain-of-function properties, which means it could be more lethal, and indeed the latest report now is it’s 15% fatality rate which is more than SARS, and 83% infection rate. So a typical gain-of-function is it travels in the air, so it could reach out maybe six feet or more from someone emitting a sneeze or a cough. Likewise, this is a specially designated WHO research lab, so the WHO is in on it, and they knew full well what was going on there.
Yes, it’s also reported the Chinese stole coronavirus materials from the Canadian lab at Winnipeg; Winnipeg is Canada’s foremost center for research developing and testing biological warfare weapons. It’s along the lines of Ft. Detrick in the USA, and yeah, I have three degrees from Harvard, it would not surprise me if something was being stolen out of Harvard to turn over to China… the bottom line is, …and I drafted the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the biological weapons convention, that was approved unanimously by both houses of the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Bush, Senior, that it appears the coronavirus that we’re dealing with here is an offensive biological warfare weapon that leaked out of that Wuhan BSL-4 [lab]. I’m not saying it was done deliberately, but there have been previous reports of problems with that lab and things leaking out of it, and I’m afraid that is what we are dealing with today."
Predictably, the Chinese government is working fiercely to shut off information coming from Hubei and other provinces which are are affected directly by spread of the virus since December. The world health organization (WHO) approved the laboratory in China years ago and are applauding President Xi Jinping's efforts to "contain" the outbreak. There are active disinformation campaigns from China and even the USA to control the narrative and downplay the seriousness of this virus and the "epidemic". Pharmaceutical companies continue to benefit financially from this and other "epidemics". However they are not necessarily incentivized to produce a cure.
"If it’s not profitable for pharmaceutical companies to produce a cure, they won't produce a cure. We cannot win the fight against coronaviruses and future infectious diseases unless we properly fund a public sector that values public health over profit." jacobinmag.com/2020/02/coronavirus-outbreak-free-market-pharmaceutical-industry?
Billions of dollars are spent on "death science"... offensive biological weapons. The USA, Canada, the UK, Russia, China, France and Israel are the primary supporters of biological "weapons" research. It is in their interest along with the platitude of "protecting national security" to suppress information regarding their activities, research results and "leaks". www.hilltimes.com/2019/11/20/potent-threat-of-biochemical-weapons-deserves-greater-attention/224682
However, doctors and health practitioners "on the ground" working around the clock with patients have come forward sending reports via VPN to social media contacts in the west. I urge you to see/listen to just one from Wuhan-heartbreaking, but necessary to understand the severity of the situation at present: mobile.twitter.com/howroute/status/1224746507674345472
In terms of trying to prevent further infection and protect yourselves and your family and community-recommendations include:
These are rudimentary guidelines for maintaining your health and immunity regardless of the current outbreak.
Posting a music video from the late David Bowie which may be considered "politically incorrect" now...but see for yourself that his messages are still relevant:
The song is entitled: "China Girl" www.youtube.com/watch?v=_YC3sTbAPcU
Ending tonight with a plea for you to stay healthy and avoid unnecessary travel until more is known about the spread of this virus. it is infants, children, those with compromised immune systems, the elderly and chronically ill who are most at risk.
In countries with poor health care infrastructure, internally displaced people, refugee camps and poverty-disease has free reign. We, here in Iraq hope the epidemic is "controlled" and the infection rate decreases over time because if it spreads here there is little chance to contain the "corona virus".
Ordinarily I do not swear or use foul language in my writing, but this week I decided to quote an Iraqi and relay what a few citizens of Iraq from different ethnic communities have discussed with me, in English, in a number of different venues. Their perspective is one you don't see in any media. Put bluntly they declare..."Iraq is fucked! There is no "endpoint" or vision for us. We are plundered, drained and left!"
The "protests" against endemic corruption, high unemployment, violent repressive tactics and an incompetent government continue despite the deaths and injuries caused by Iranian backed players and an insecure Iraqi leadership. These protests and protesters have tried to make it clear that the Muqtada al-Sadr "Million Man March" (although women and children did participate) had nothing to do with the demands of the protests beginning in the Fall of 2019.
"Iraqi anti-government protesters rejected the calls for the million-man march as "having nothing to do with the demands of the demonstrators" who have protested against the government for months.
"This million-man march is different from what the street wants. It supports the current political system in the country, it doesn't oppose it," said Abdul Rahman al-Ghazali, a protester at Baghdad's Tahrir Square, a center of the uprising." www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Million-man-March-in-Baghdad-against-US-presence-in-Iraq-LIVE-615229
"Sadr, who has millions of supporters in Baghdad and the south, said on Saturday, January 25th, he would end his involvement in the anti-government unrest. Sadr's supporters have bolstered the protesters and at times helped shield them from attacks by security forces and unidentified gunmen, but began withdrawing from sit-in camps on Saturday following his announcement. The Iraqi High Commission on Human Rights called on all sides to exercise self-restraint and keep the demonstrations peaceful." www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/iraq-rockets-hit-baghdad-green-zone-anti-gov-protests-200126195616176.html
"Their withdrawal has achieved the opposite effect of breaking up the movement. We have had more protesters joining in. On the day Sadr declared his decision,[Saturday} the entire area from Tahrir Square to Tayaran Square was full of people, waving only the Iraqi flag." www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/01/affect-iraq-tahrir-square-sadr-pulling-support-200127175149848.html
Sixteen western countries, including the UK, Germany, France, and the USA said in a joint statement on January 27, 2020, that they “condemn the excessive and lethal use of force by Iraqi security forces and armed groups since January 24 against peaceful protestors, including in Baghdad, Nasiriya, and Basra”.
Meanwhile "Kurdistan" (the Kurdistan Regional Government or KRG) and many of the Kurds are distancing themselves politically and economically from the current Iraqi government. No group has yet claimed "responsibility" for the rocket attacks in Erbil on January 7, 2020.
Moreover the close "alliance" between Israel and "Kurdistan" continues since it is beneficial to both to buffer against Iran, Iranian influence and Turkish "genocidal policies" regarding the Kurds.
During the past week the Iranian regime has threatened to attack Israel if the USA moves against them. Thug tactics-"we'll hurt your family/friends if you try to move against us!" Bellicose threats are part of the usual reportage in this area of the world. Here is the latest one:
"If the US takes any action after our military response, we will level Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground," said Mohsen Rezayee, Secretary of Iran's Expediency Council and a former IRGC commander, according to Iran’s Fars News Agency. The council advises Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and also has legislative powers." nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/how-iran-has-threatened-israel-destruction-117176
Many in the west cannot fathom or they underestimate the capacity and commitment to "revenge" in this part of the world. The "avenging" of the death of General Soleimani. Like the Sicilian Mafia maxim, for Iranians "revenge is a dish best eaten cold."
Iran and its regional proxies, which include Yemen's Houthis and Lebanon's Hezbollah, "have shown tremendous patience in the past when it comes to conducting revenge attacks." I suggest watching Iranian/American businessman Patrick Bet-David for a clear, concise explanation of recent Iranian history and culture. His video is called: "US-Iran WWIII or Regime Collapse" www.youtube.com/watch?v=qLv17kuBJrU
Alright, closing tonight since electricity and internet connections are intermittent this week and I want to post this piece as well as let you know another article I wrote was published yesterday on the Small Wars Journal site. Here is the link: smallwarsjournal.com/index.php/jrnl/art/iraq-time-different-approach
We may forget (or never have known) of the many contributions to music, art, poetry and science the Iranians have contributed over the centuries. Thousands of Iranians have to live in exile due to the political repression, wars and theocracy. When I write of "Iran" and "Iranian influences" I am only speaking of those in governance and their government and it's branches.
Therefore, I am finishing with a heart rending song sung by a skilled and gifted singer of the Iranian/Canadian group "Niyaz". Her name is Azam Ali and she is Iranian. "Niyaz" means yearning. The song I chose is entitled "Exile".
All of us who have to live away from our home country know this particular anguish and yearning. Do Listen! The lyrics are translated below: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OY08mpYTue4
This separation has caused me immense sorrow
Destiny has me chained to this state
O Beloved, release me from these chains
for I am bound by the dust in this estranged land
What is it you seek from me that you cast your chains upon a free man?
You enslaved me in this state without any compassion burning away all my youth Till when can my patience withstand this separation?
Till when can I forbear this separation?
If I were to reunite with you just one more time
I would reveal to you all about the anguish of my exile
It is no exaggeration to report that the second amendment of the United States constitution is under threat in a number of states. Almost ironically the first showdown is in Virginia, one of the 44 states which included in it's state constitution the following words: "That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; …" This text hearkens back to the original words of the Constitution of the USA: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Virginia is home to the National Rifle Association (NRA) of the USA.
It is important to point out that only three countries in the world give their citizens the "right to bear arms"....Mexico, Guatemala and the USA. Both Guatemala and Mexico have strict restrictions on the types of firearms permitted, where purchase of firearms is permitted and who may buy firearms: no one with a history of mental illness, who deserted the army or the police and who has a police record. www.businessinsider.com/2nd-amendment-countries-constitutional-right-bear-arms-2017-10#united-states-4 However, illegal gun ownership in both countries is estimated to be high. Guatemala is reported to have the highest per capita gun ownership in Latin America.
The perception of the US violent crime rate from media, popular films and folklore is that we are a violent society. However, when using the data from the last twenty years and using statistics on the violent crimes of homicide and rape committed with guns or the threat of violence per 100,000 people; out of 193 countries, the US is not even in the top 100. worldpopulationreview.com/countries/violent-crime-rates-by-country/
Here are the top ten:
It seems every generation needs to be reminded of history. The steps toward disarmament in Europe began with disbanding hunting and gun clubs (in Hungary under Lazlo Rajik) and censoring specific groups of people from access and ownership of guns under Hitler (political opponents, Jews, Roma). mises.org/wire/brief-history-repressive-regimes-and-their-gun-laws
"Gun confiscation holds a special place in the halls of political repression. Gun rights might not guarantee victory against tyrants, but being deprived of them all but guarantees submission."
The three bills passed by the newly elected "Democrat" legislature and fiercely supported by the current Democratic Governor Ralph Northam, would severely restrict gun ranges, gun clubs, deny reciprocity for conceal carry permits from other states and overturn existing rights including banning open carry in vehicles. How the public responds is a beta test for other states.
Over 100 of Virginia's counties and cities have declared themselves "gun sanctuaries". Maryland declared they will try to pass similar laws while West Virginia has offered sanctuary to those Virginia counties who wish to retain all their second amendment rights. nationalfile.com/west-virginia-plans-to-accept-virginia-counties-that-secede-over-gun-control-concerns/ The massive rally to show support for the 2nd amendment and disapproval for Governor Northam and the Democrats in the legislature, was well attended even with freezing temperatures and completely peaceful. www.washingtonpost.com/dc-md-va/2020/01/20/virginia-gun-rally-updates/
The pro-gun rights rally and demonstration was an exercise of First Amendment rights which includes the right to assembly. I am including the actual words to remind you once more of this important cornerstone of our Republic which many countries do not include in their charter:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”
There were a number of countries which did grant their citizens the right to own firearms and ammunition, until one or two "mass shootings" caused emotional reactions in the populace and knee jerk legislation to ban private ownership and strip citizens of "gun rights". Australia, Norway, the United Kingdom, Canada and recently, New Zealand are examples of nations with restricted gun "rights".
"Many politicians and gun control advocates say if more guns mean fewer mass public shootings, the United States should be the safest place in the world. Indeed, the US has relatively few mass public shootings compared to the rest of the world, but we would have even fewer if we could get rid of gun-free zones. Ninety-eight percent of the mass public shootings in the US from 1950 to 2018 occurred in places that banned general citizens from having guns for protection." crimeresearch.org/2019/06/the-danger-of-gun-free-zones-what-are-you-supposed-to-do-when-you-cant-have-your-gun-with-you/
The saying "use it or lose it" applies to our rights and skills. Exercise your right to "free speech" and gun ownership as an individual by practicing both. These are "perishable skills". Along with ownership comes responsibility for gun safety and accountability for what you say, express and write.
Vigilance is required to protect ourselves and our rights or we may be going down a path that countries such as China and Russia have taken. The USA is unique. Let's keep it that way. Vote and appoint politicians, legislators and law enforcement officials who will support and defend the Constitution and our rights.
Closing tonight from a country which does not grant their citizen these rights....Iraq. Law abiding citizens here do not have the right to "bear arms" but the criminals and violent extremists totally disregard the laws. There are no "gun free" zones when there is no effective rule of law.
Watch and listen to this short music video by Mr. Feshamon entitled: "Gun Control"
www.youtube.com/watch?v=CJXwGWAGXmI See it as a cautionary tale using our first amendment rights.
Until next week,
As often as I have witnessed "soft target" programs being used as shields for nefarious activities in various parts of our world, and by this I mean "humanitarian efforts" be they in education, health or the general catch all of "capacity building"...it still sickens me and I am still surprised when I see it happening.
However, after years of doing evaluations and being part of programs, schools, grand scheme projects in conflict zones, or what used to be labeled as "third world" countries-my eyes, ears and seventh sense is able to "case a place" rather quickly and sniff a scam/shield when I stumble upon or walk right into one.
First the outward signs of being "legitimate" are created. A logo with a western established icon and nation label such as "American" or "British" or "Canadian" or "United Nations" sponsored - clinic, refugee camp, school, or even university is designed. Then a website is posted with the stereotypical photos of children in need, then children smiling and all sorts of credentials displayed along with pictures of "events" with notable "officials" receiving "gifts". Then, "future plans" are presented, donations accepted and "testimonials" placed to give "credibility" to whatever program or project is being advertised.
Who is the audience for these advertisements? Well, that depends. There can be a number of registers advertising at once.
In the United States of America, National Human Trafficking Awareness Day is observed annually on January 11. Beginning in 2010, by Presidential Proclamation, each January has been designated National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. We are two weeks into January 2020-half way through a month supposedly dedicated to raising awareness and action-but I have not seen enough articles or alerts posted continuously online. As least not yet-hence my post this week as part of my personal effort to keep shining a light on this dark scourge on our earthly population and especially on our most vulnerable and innocent segment of the world's population...and our future.
Shamefully, my home state of Texas is listed as the #1 state in human trafficking and sex trafficking of children. Children from within the state and the USA as well as tens of thousands of minors from other countries are trafficked through Texas.
Some of these children trafficked to the USA are orphans culled/selected via "refugee camps", some are kidnapped and "disappeared", tragically some are sold by members of their own community or family. Some are "born into the sex trade" and into cartels or other criminal or extremist gangs. Some children are forced to be "child soldiers" and "enforcers as well as recruiters" for other children.
Children from Asia including: Russia, China, Thailand, Pakistan and from "war torn countries" of Afghanistan, Iraq, Ukraine, Syria and Iran are collected and dispersed throughout the world. When they get sick or grow older, become addicted or try to run away and their "usefulness" is at an end...they are often filmed, then "harvested" for their organs, sold again even after their death. A horrible fate for anyone. Human beings carry out these vile and evil acts. Human beings are not doing enough to protect our children and bring the perpetrators to "justice" and exposure.
The perpetrators of these crimes (the traffickers, johns, pimps) don’t fit a single stereotype. They represent every social, ethnic, economic strata and racial group. Some perpetrators are involved with local gangs, others are members of larger nationwide gangs and criminal organizations, and some have no affiliation with any one group. Traffickers can also be women – in fact, many women run established rings around the country. https://leb.fbi.gov/2011/march/human-sex-trafficking
A lack of food access is one reason children will be forced to trade sex for food. Food "insecurity" (not knowing where you next meal will come from) impacts millions of children around the world today-there have been a number of cases in different countries where those who were supposed to be distributing food that was donated "charged" children and families for the food. If they could not pay they were subjected to "trading" - sex - for something to eat.
FOUNDATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS AS "SHIELDS" FOR CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES INCLUDING SEX TRAFFICKING OF CHILDREN, BLACKMAIL, MONEY LAUNDERING
As part of their strategy to gain access and the trust of children and communities, some of the most high profile foundations dcdirtylaundry.com/the-clintons-laura-silsby-haiti-amber-alerts-human-trafficking/
and religious institutions which purport to "help children" and particularly "help victims of sexual abuse", are the most grievous offenders and predators of children. For more specifics read this excellent investigative report and summation by Corey Digs: www.coreysdigs.com/child-trafficking/are-bill-hillary-clinton-involved-with-child-trafficking/ (see captions under the photos above)
The Catholic Church has been prosecuted through it's member priests, bishops cardinals and nuns and so has the Anglican church and Islamic "schools" and "charities" in a wide range activities of their shield organizations and foundations. Individual investigations of other sects and "charities" with tax breaks because of their "religious affiliations" are not often covered in the media but hundreds of thousands of children have been sexually, physically and emotionally abused/used and denied justice and counsel over the past decades in the USA and globally.
Ignorance of this scourge on the children of our Earth is no excuse anymore. Moreover, most parents are unwittingly (perhaps) "sharenting" and posting multiple pictures of their precious children, and/or teacher/administrators proudly posting photos of their underage students on the worldwide net casting a "free view" for sophisticated criminal networks as well as individual predators to scan, file and possibly use to entrap or kidnap children for "product" for their "clients".
Read this (and other articles) to know some of the strategies they use easily online. Don't feed the beast! nationalpost.com/news/canada/photos-shared-on-pedophile-sites-taken-from-parents-social-media-accounts
Closing this morning with a music video from "Take No Glory" based on the true story of one victim. The song is entitled: "Beautiful Slave". I suggest you watch it more than once.
If you have children, work with children or just live in neighborhoods, communities with children...be vigilant for them. Learn to recognize the signs they have been abused, the signals they may use for "help". No matter the race, culture, language or economic strata most young children exhibit the same signs if you know what to look and listen for when you are with them. They are our most vulnerable and precious resource now and for the future. We owe them protection from harm.
Never underestimate the tactics used by the ruthless or the power of prayer as a shield. "Defende Omnis Innocentis" have the courage to "defend the innocent".
Signing off from Iraq,
Iran is in the mainstream global news this week because a few of it's most nefarious, effective and ruthless military leaders were killed while in the midst of plotting and interfering in Iraq. They were directing the attacks on the US embassy in Baghdad, killing American military and civilians in the region and coordinating with Latin American and Mexican cartel leaders to infiltrate and attack Americans through it's southern border. They trained, hired, planned attacks through their branches in Hezbollah, Hamas, the Houthis in Yemen, the Palestinian Jihad (PIJ) Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and the Basij Militia-to name a few of their proxy units in the world. The continual fighting in Syria and the various battles with Daesh/ISIS involved some of the fighters/trainers from Iran as well.
"Harakat al Nujaba has close ties with Lebanese Hezbollah. The two groups have coordinated activities as Iraqi militia fighters entered Syria to battle rebels and jihadists. The militia was established to funnel fighters from two other Iranian-backed militias, Hezbollah Brigades and Asaib Ahl al Haq, into Syria. It has been spotted on several battlefields in Syria, including in Aleppo." https://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2016/03/hezbollah-and-harakat-al-nujaba-are-the-twins-of-resistance-iraqi-militia-spokesman-says.php
Although most will say it is a nation' s right to determine it's own laws, punishments and protection for it's own citizens; it is also important to point out that millions of Iranians were affected by the cruel, relentless policing of Iran's Revolutionary guards, the elite Quds forces. This includes their actions against protesters peacefully demonstrating since 2017. Human rights organizations with insiders report over 1,500 confirmed deaths and over 9,000 injured during arrests, detainment or harassment in Iran. These are only conservative estimates. www.dailysabah.com/mideast/2019/12/23/death-toll-hits-1500-in-iranian-anti-government-protests
People forget (or never knew) of the bloody history of the "Islamic Revolution" that shook the world in 1979 and was responsible for over tens of thousands of deaths, arrest, detention and torture or disappearance of their own citizens.
Iran (Eran) has been a significant military and economic force in the world since around 550 BC. Until the 1930s other countries called Eran-"Persia" and before the use of guns (fire arms) the "Persian army" were famous for their cavalry and as archers. Eran instituted a policy of "tolerance" for those they conquered under the master leader and diplomat, Cyrus. He instituted laws protecting people's right to speak their own languages and practice their own religions. The "Cyrus Cylinder" was a collection of guidelines written on stone tablets and preserved to this day. It stated that while Zoroastrianism was the official religion, other religions were respected. Conquered peoples would be protected as long as they paid taxes and abided by Persian laws. Their places of worship were often rebuilt after battles and their cultural traditions and festivals permitted to continue "in freedom throughout the Persian empire". study.com/academy/lesson/the-persian-empire-religion-social-structure.html
iranians fought long and hard against invading Arabs in the mid 600s AD, but were part of the large Islamic conquest and submitted to Islam. Thereafter, Eran was ruled by a number of "dynasties" for the next thousand years, developing weapons, alliances and battling the Ottomans, Great Britain and Russia. After World War II and the development of Eran's natural resources (oil, natural gas, coal, copper, chromium, etc) the Shah (leader) of Iran had the financial resources to build up their military. Eran was ranked 9th in the world for their economic strength.
Eran began it's nuclear program in the late 1950s. "The U.S. provided Iran with its first research reactor — a nuclear reactor, a 5-megawatt nuclear reactor that is still functioning and still operational in Tehran. The United States built that nuclear reactor in 1967 on the campus of Tehran University. It also provided Iran with fuel for that reactor — weapons-grade enriched uranium." www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/09/18/440567960/born-in-the-u-s-a-how-america-created-irans-nuclear-program
"In 1953, amid a power struggle between Mohammed Reza Shah and Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.K. Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) orchestrated a coup against Mosaddegh’s government. The interference of these two outside intelligence/government forces changed the political landscape and direction of Iran."
In the 1970s, Eran paid out billions of dollars to purchase the latest equipment and weapons from the UK, Russia, Sweden, Canada, the Netherlands, the USA and Israel. The Shah (leader of Iran) Mohammed Reza Pahlavi reigned over a secular regime. He was the last of the Pahlazi dynasty. Iran recognized Israel in those years:
"On 18 July 1977, Iranian Vice Minister of War General Hassan Toufanian traveled to Israel where he met with Israeli Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan and Minister of Defense Ezer Weizmann. They discussed a number of joint Israeli-Iranian military projects, among them Project Flower."
Politically, the Shah Reza Pahlavi envisioned a "social provisionary" state which provided for it's citizens all the benefits of "eastern and western" society including healthcare, education, infrastructure, defense and human "freedoms" under a monarchy. He included human rights, women's rights and literacy goals in his governing aims. The income from high oil prices and mineral exports was substantial. Eran had the possibility to raise the standard of living of it's citizens to the highest level in it's history, albeit it did so with many repressive measures against those resisting change. Arrests, detention and torture were part of the Shah's legacy as well as his "White Revolution" and leaping into the 21st century.
All these programs ended with the "Islamic Revolution" and the deposing and exile of the Shah of Iran as leader. Protests against the shah encouraged by those denigrating "westernization", western influences and promoting Shiite factions, divided Eran. Formerly secular leaders took an interest in the fundamentalist views of Ruhollah Khomeini in exile in France.
"The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution, was the revolution that transformed Iran from an absolute monarchy under Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi to an absolute Islamic republic under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, one of the leaders of the revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic. It began in January 1978 with the first major demonstrations and concluded with the approval of the new theocratic Constitution by referendum. The Shah went into exile in January 1979. Ayatollah Khomeini became "Supreme Leader" of the country—in December 1979."
Ayatollah Khomeni immediately imposed a rigid form of sharia law and formed special military units and "religious police patrols" to enforce those laws. The former rights given to women were declared null and void. courses.lumenlearning.com/suny-hccc-worldhistory2/chapter/the-iranian-revolution/
For a quick but unique view of Iran's history in the 20th century I highly recommend the Iranian (in exile) film maker Marjane Satrapi's 2007, "Persepolis" linked here online in English and available in other languages: www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZ22VyjJ6n8 "Satraps" in ancient Persia were the governors of the province system Persians set up in their empire.
In the past 18 months protests within Iran, due to rising cost of living, corruption, repression and frustration - resulted in a brutal crackdown by the Quds (led by Qassem Solemani) and their further interference into Iraq's governing - with an agenda to commandeer Iraq's rich natural resources as well. With the death of Solemani and his cohorts, hundreds of thousands celebrated in many parts of the world adversely affected by Iran and especially by Solemani and his policies of inciting terrorist acts, brutality and disruption.
People in Syria, Jordan, Iraq and expat Iranians in Armenia, Canada, the UK, Australia,the USA and other countries posted videos of dancing, fireworks, marches and handing out "sweets and delicacies" during the official "days of mourning" declared by Iran's current Ayatollah Khomeni.
The belligerent threats and hyperbolic rhetoric we read and hear is more common in the "near" East and the Middle East. Did you know Iran has a declared "Death to America" day which is November 4-recalling the day Americans were taken hostage from their own embassy in 1970s. The Iranian government declared in 1987, an official day and official chants against the USA. Over thirty years of continual hate propaganda on an entire generation, indoctrinated in Iran. www.nationalreview.com/2020/01/death-to-america-iran-philosophy-for-40-years/
There is projection from numerous political camps, think tank types, former military advisers, intelligence analysts, academics and leaders about what will happen next. There are rumors printed as if they are "confirmed" strategies and "targets" from both the Iranians and the Americans. The location, value and number of "targets" are changed daily. As one contributor to Rudaw news. net from Kurdistan wrote:
"Whatever Iran’s capabilities, they pale in comparison to those of the United States. At a moment’s notice, Washington could take out other Iranian leaders, Iranian oil refineries, Iranian bases in Syria, or any number of targets." www.rudaw.net/english/analysis/06012020
In response to the responses from both sides Iraq leader Muqtada al- Sadr issued the following statement on Sunday, January 5:
"I call on Iraqi resistance factions especially, and factions outside of Iraq, to instantly meet to announce the formation of ‘International Resistance Regiments’,” Sadr said.
Sadr became the founding leader of southern Iraq’s Mahdi Army in 2003, during US occupation of the country. His militia killed and injured scores of American servicemen.
He disbanded the militias in 2008. However, he announced the reactivation of the Mahdi Army on Friday, (January 3, 2020) referring to himself as the “head of Iraqi National Resistance".
Other militia leaders such as Kataib Imam Ali’s Shibl al-Zaidy have also pledged allegiance to the proposal.
Hassan Nasrallah, head of Hezbollah, vowed to expel US troops from Iraq in a speech made on Sunday.
Sadr’s call to arms means the two major Shiite parties, who hold over 100 out of 329 parliamentary seats, are now threatening US forces with military action.
This is a gathering of forces foreseen for at least a decade. Each nation/government outwardly threatening has internal divisions-Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon-the USA. Which "targets" they choose to demonstrate their "resolve" and even "vengeance" will no doubt incur "collateral damage" in the civilian population, loss of life, injury, property destruction and trauma. Unfortunately there has been a build up of a nuclear style game of "chicken and concession" between the US and Iran since before 2000.
Other administrations have wagged their flaccid fingers about "red lines crossed" and done nothing but send billions in cash and equipment. Finally this week, they realize there is a "new deal-new players" who mean "business".
We know there will be at least some "show" of force in the coming weeks and months. We pray they select their "targets" with discrimination, and with the ultimate aim of "de-escalation" of tensions. We pray innocents are not caught in the crossfire.
Closing with strong theme song from Zack Hemsey - "Don't Get In My Way".
Read between the lines/lyrics and the notes as you will, but turn up the volume for full effect: www.youtube.com/watch?v=LIt6hRhM33g
Remember the 5 Ps'=Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance!
Stay healthy and alert,