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IRAQ

LFC's Photo LFC 02 December 2019 - 03:21 PM

We don't see Iraq in the news very much anymore but it's inner stability is still important to something approximating peace in the region. Unfortunately Iraq has been destabilizing as the people express their unhappiness with the government. The PM just said he'd resign but where does that leave the country really?

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Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announced plans to resign in the wake of a rapidly rising death toll in anti-government protests across the country.

Mahdi made the announcement on Friday, just one day after security forces opened fire on a protest group in Nasiriya, a city in southern Iraq. At least 24 people died, and more than 210 were injured, according to the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights. Four protesters died in Baghdad and 10 died in Najaf Thursday — making it one of the bloodiest days since the protests began in October.

The protests began in opposition to corruption, Iraq’s high unemployment rate, and foreign interference, but have now evolved into a complete rejection of the political establishment. Many protesters have expressed anger over the violent response that has met demonstrators: At least 354 people have been killed by security forces, with at least another 8,104 injured.

Following the violence in Nasiriya, Ali al-Sistani, Iraq’s top cleric, criticized the government’s heavy-handed approach and urged parliament to withdraw its support from Mahdi’s government to prevent further deaths.

On Friday, Mahdi headed that call, saying he was swayed by the religious leader’s words and would voluntarily step aside in order to help Iraq “preserve the blood of its people, and avoid slipping into a cycle of violence, chaos and devastation.”

Following the resignation, protesters in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, at which many demonstrators have camped out for almost two months, burst into celebration. But much of that joy was mixed with caution: Mahdi’s resignation came at the cost of hundreds of lives and many acknowledged change will not be imminent.
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HockeyDon's Photo HockeyDon 02 December 2019 - 03:26 PM

I remember hearing that the protests in different parts of Iraq are over different things as well. That's got to add to the chaos surrounding this.
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golden_valley's Photo golden_valley 02 December 2019 - 03:45 PM

OK Bush and everybody, explain to us again how removing Saddam Hussein was going to bring democracy to the Middle East.
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baw1064's Photo baw1064 02 December 2019 - 04:04 PM

 golden_valley, on 02 December 2019 - 03:45 PM, said:

OK Bush and everybody, explain to use again how removing Saddam Hussein was going to bring democracy to the Middle East.

The Thirty Years War was a necessary event for democracy to flourish in Europe. Just give Iraq a century or three.
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Traveler's Photo Traveler 02 December 2019 - 06:36 PM

WAPO had a great summary in morning 202of this unrest all over the world this morning. Iran is revolting as well. Gonna be an interesting year coming up.
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golden_valley's Photo golden_valley 02 December 2019 - 07:02 PM

 Traveler, on 02 December 2019 - 06:36 PM, said:

WAPO had a great summary in morning 202of this unrest all over the world this morning. Iran is revolting as well. Gonna be an interesting year coming up.

Great! The US is so stable right now with solid allies, the current Secretary of State, and the President playing general or admiral as the notion strikes him. We're ready!
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LFC's Photo LFC 11 January 2020 - 05:01 PM

Extortion of Iraq over them wanting us to leave their country. The account the Trump administration threatened to block was Iraq's money. It's like your bank telling you that you're not doing something they want you to do so you can't access your money.

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The Trump administration reportedly threatened to cut off Iraq’s access to its account with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York over a proposed withdrawal of American troops.

The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday that the State Department threatened to cut off Iraq’s New York Fed account in a phone call Wednesday with Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, according to unnamed Iraqi officials. The resulting cash shortage would hurt Iraq’s economy.

Many countries maintain accounts with the New York Fed in order to store government revenue in the form of U.S. dollars. In Iraq’s case, much of that comes from oil sales.

The State Department didn’t respond to TPM’s request for comment on Saturday.

Abdul-Mahdi and Iraq’s parliament have called for American troops to exit the country following the killing, ordered by President Donald Trump, of the top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani outside Baghdad International Airport a week ago.

Trump in turn threatened to sanction Iraq if U.S. troops were expelled. The State Department has refused to recognize Iraq’s call for the troops to leave.

“At this time, any delegation sent to Iraq would be dedicated to discussing how best to recommit to our strategic partnership — not to discuss troop withdrawal,” the State Department said in a statement quoted by The Washington Post Friday.
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Probabilistic's Photo Probabilistic 12 January 2020 - 10:04 PM

Trump likes to justify the increase in US troop presence in Saudi Arabia by claiming (uncorroborated, of course) Saudis are paying good money[1]. I wonder how many people join the US military, take an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the US with their lives, with the understanding they would become Saudi mercenary. Oh btw, I bet they don't see any of the 'good money' Saudis are paying for their presence.


[1] I suspect the good money gets funneled to the Trump Organization.
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D. C. Sessions's Photo D. C. Sessions 13 January 2020 - 10:14 AM

 Probabilistic, on 12 January 2020 - 10:04 PM, said:

[1] I suspect the good money gets funneled to the Trump Organization.

Someone should suggest to Trump that he do a Halliburton and have the Trump Organization provide housing, etc. to troops in the Middle East.
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golden_valley's Photo golden_valley 13 January 2020 - 10:33 AM

 D. C. Sessions, on 13 January 2020 - 10:14 AM, said:

Someone should suggest to Trump that he do a Halliburton and have the Trump Organization provide housing, etc. to troops in the Middle East.

I suspect he wouldn't take the opportunity to do so. His ego demands high end properties with his name on it. His dad did that low class stuff...apartments, old folks homes...and made a fortune. All the more reason for Trump to stay away from it. He's got to do better than the old man did and that's not necessarily measured in money, not by Trump.

Jared, on the other hand....
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pnwguy's Photo pnwguy 13 January 2020 - 11:19 AM

 golden_valley, on 13 January 2020 - 10:33 AM, said:

I suspect he wouldn't take the opportunity to do so. His ego demands high end properties with his name on it. His dad did that low class stuff...apartments, old folks homes...and made a fortune. All the more reason for Trump to stay away from it. He's got to do better than the old man did and that's not necessarily measured in money, not by Trump.

Jared, on the other hand....
Dumpster would be happy to provide logistical services for authoritarians. He might even loan out Air Force One as needed, if they are flying to Mar-a-Lago for an audience or tee time with His Excellency. He should start naming rooms -- The MBS Suite, The Kim Suite, The Sultan's (Erdogan) Suite, The Duterte Suite.
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George Rowell's Photo George Rowell 21 February 2020 - 11:59 PM

https://foreignpolic...-protests-iran/

The theme is Iraq is not going the way we like it so let's change it again. Oh my.
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baw1064's Photo baw1064 22 February 2020 - 12:34 AM

 George Rowell, on 21 February 2020 - 11:59 PM, said:

https://foreignpolic...-protests-iran/

The theme is Iraq is not going the way we like it so let's change it again. Oh my.

I'm not sure regime change has any meaning in a failed state.
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George Rowell's Photo George Rowell 22 February 2020 - 02:55 AM

 baw1064, on 22 February 2020 - 12:34 AM, said:

I'm not sure regime change has any meaning in a failed state.
Humpty Dumpty all over again.
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George Rowell's Photo George Rowell 22 February 2020 - 02:58 AM

 Probabilistic, on 12 January 2020 - 10:04 PM, said:

Trump likes to justify the increase in US troop presence in Saudi Arabia by claiming (uncorroborated, of course) Saudis are paying good money[1]. I wonder how many people join the US military, take an oath to protect and defend the constitution of the US with their lives, with the understanding they would become Saudi mercenary. Oh btw, I bet they don't see any of the 'good money' Saudis are paying for their presence.


[1] I suspect the good money gets funneled to the Trump Organization.
if they defended the constitution with their lives they would not be there.
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George Rowell's Photo George Rowell 22 February 2020 - 03:01 AM

 golden_valley, on 13 January 2020 - 10:33 AM, said:


Jared, on the other hand....
what about Jared?
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George Rowell's Photo George Rowell 22 February 2020 - 03:05 AM

 D. C. Sessions, on 13 January 2020 - 10:14 AM, said:

Someone should suggest to Trump that he do a Halliburton and have the Trump Organization provide housing, etc. to troops in the Middle East.
You mean like sell toilet seats for $1000? Diesel for 5x the going rate, paid for by the great American public.
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