America’s New War: Let’s Not Pretend That Iraqi Paramilitaries Drew First Blood

A US-enabled Israeli hunting season on Iraqi militias had been going on for months before the first US casualty

The US had been using its position in Iraq and Syria to allow Israel kill Iraqi servicemen since July

As the Trump administration would have it history began yesterday. On December 27 A rocket salvo struck a US base near Kirkuk killing a US contractor and wounding four US soldiers, as well as, according to the Americans, two Iraqi soldiers.

So two days later the US — deducing that the attack must have come from the Iraqi Kataib Hezbollah paramilitary that right now hates the Americans’ guts the most — bombed five Kataib facilities on the Iraq-Syrian border, ie nowhere near Kirkuk, killing 25 and wounding 55 Kataib paramilitaries that almost certainly had nothing to do with the Kirkuk base attack themselves.

So according to the Americans albeit their airstrikes, against an outfit that is formally part of Iraq’s official security forces, may have technically violated Iraqi sovereignty that is a technicality since the paramilitary is a proxy for Iran, and in any case these Iranian proxies started it by killing an American first in attacks on guests of the Iraqi government.

Americans also suppose that since they have been granted basing rights in Iraq and the right to act militarily (against ISIS) on Iraq’s territory that comes with the right to defend themselves.

Americans also emphasize the attack allegedly by Kataib also wounded two Iraqi soldiers.

So the American telling is something like ‘Iranian proxies are attacking us who are guests of the Iraqi government and hurting Iraqi servicemen in the process, so we bombed them to defend ourselves and teach them a lesson.’

On its face that sounds almost reasonable, but there is a number of problems with such a retelling.

Firstly, as probably the single most influential man in Iraq, the Shia cleric al-Sistani pointed out, even if it were true that Kataib paramilitaries had gone rogue in attacking US facilities it does not follow that Americans, a foreign military with mere basing rights, have the liberty to take matters into their own hands and be the judge, jury and executioner in revenge attacks on a state-sanctioned paramilitary 500 kilometers from the place of the actual attack on the US base.

Secondly, there is a matter of scale. Because “Iranian proxies” (as Americans would have it) injured a pair of Iraqi servicemen it does not follow that Americans are now entitled to kill or wound seventy-seven Kataib paramilitaries who are also Iraqi servicemen.

Thirdly, unlike the Trump gang would have it, history did not begin on December 27th. Between July 19 and September 22 Iraqi paramilitaries were hit in their Iraqi bases on at least eight different occasions. In August the Israeli PM Netanyahu confirmed that Israel was carrying out these strikes “against Iranian consolidation”. (That was also just the latest escalation on top of Israeli strikes on Iraqi paramilitaries positioned against ISIS in eastern Syria.)

However, as Iraqis fully understand Israel does not have the capability to strike targets in Iraq (and eastern Syria) without US logistical and intelligence support and the political go-ahead. These were Israeli drone strikes but originating in US/Kurdish-controlled NE Syria and using US-controlled airspace. What is more, quite possibly the Americans were using their presence in Iraq to supply Israelis with intelligence on Kataib and other paramilitaries.

It is also around this time that small-scale artillery (mainly mortar) attacks on US facilities in Iraq started. The only thing new about the December 27 attack was that it resulted in a US fatality. So no, Iraqi paramilitaries did not all of a sudden, and out of the blue, started targeting Americans in Iraq because they are such obedient Iranian proxies, and on the behalf of Tehran, but because they were being killed in their own country (and in neighboring Syria) and the US was to blame.

There have been well over 50 Iraqi paramilitary fatalities in Iraq alone, before the first American died in a retaliatory attack. The blame here is not on Iran, the blame is on those who decided to pull Netanyahu’s chestnuts out of the fire even if it risked US troops in the region.

The only surprising thing about all of this has been how long it took for the backlash to catch up with the Trump gang. So of course instead of counting their lucky stars they went and escalated, so now they are going to reap a bigger backlash, quite possibly in the form of a renewed legal effort to oust them, albeit the nationalist Sadr has said he’ll be looking into “other means” if that doesn’t pan out.

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Ricky Miller
Ricky Miller
11 months ago

The world is poised to go crazy, with dangers beyond all normality and the U.S. government is at the heart of it all. The United States has taken maximum liberties and swung sharp elbows at nearly everyone. And now, taking maximum liberties with the truth as well. The United States doesn’t want open and connected road communication between Iraq and Syria, period. That’s what this is all really about and why targets were struck hundreds of miles away from the site of the attack on an American occupied facility. It’s incredible that they could look at others and say the crap they do with a straight face, like “self-defense.” The United States is killing and lying about the killing with such accomplishment that it is now the template for others to act that way as well, and the world we are about to live in is one where everyone is arming up and preparing to jump in swinging sharp elbows also. What could possibly go wrong?

pooi-hoong chan
pooi-hoong chan
11 months ago
Reply to  Ricky Miller

US has been lying since the Korean War and US is the greatest threat to world peace.

C.A. Powell
C.A. Powell
11 months ago

USA government….bully of the world since 1861

richard feibel
richard feibel
11 months ago

YOU CAN WRITE ALL YOU WANT [[FOR NOW]] AND THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IS TO BLAME .THEY AREN’T HEARING [READING]] ANY OF THIS.SINCE THE US DECIDED TO STOP THE DRAFT WE HAVE BECOME A NATION OF UNEDUCATED UNAWARE UNCARING THUMB SUCKING MORONS .WITH OUR LITTLE DEVICES PROVIDING THE FODDER THAT THE ELITE SEND US.AND THIS IS NOT NEW .WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENED IN 1860-61. DO YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT THE SO CALLED NORTH WAS SO VEHEMENTLY ABOLITIONIST THAT WERE WILLING TO LOSE THEIR LIFE FOR?/ OF COARSE NOT! IT WAS PRESENT TO THEM AS AN ACTION TO MAKE THE SOUTH CAPITULATE WITHIN WEEKS. LINCOLN ENGINNERED THE WAR FORM THE START .AND HE HIMSELF WAS NOT AN ABOLITIONIST .ONLY AFTER 1863 WHEN HE SAW IT WAS POLITICALLY PROFITABLE DID HE DO HIS FAMOUS SPEECH .THIS UNITED STATES IS NOT UNITED AND NEVER EVER WAS. THE FOUNDER ADAMS ;JEFFERSON; FRANKLIN SPENT 3 YEARS IN FRANCE BEING EDUCATED BY THE GRAND MASONIC LODGE OF PARIS. READ THE CONSTITUTION IT READS AS THE MASONIC CODE WAS WRITTEN. THE BANK OF FRANCE SENT 15 MILLION IN GOLD WITH THEM BACK TO THE US TO FINANCE THE REVOLUTION THE BANK OF FRANCE WAS OWNED BY THE ROTHCHILD EMPIRE. AND EVER SINCE WE HAVE BEEN IN DEBT TO THIS EMPIRE .ONLY ANDY JACKSON WAS ABLE TO SHUT DOWN THE CENTRAL US BANK ,BUT ONLY FOR A COUPLE PF YRS IT WAS BACK. THE POTUS WILSON IN 1913 IN THE DARK OF NIGHT SIGNED INTO LAW ON THE 24TH OF DECEMBER THE FEDERAL RESERVE ACT .NEED MORE PROOF OF WHO WHY WHAT WE ARE ?. SIC SEMPRE TRUMP ET AL! SOON TO BE AT WAR WITH IRAQ AND IRAN!

Larry Smith
Larry Smith
11 months ago
Reply to  richard feibel

@ richard feibel—and, your point is ? kind of difficult to make heads nor tails out of what you are saying, here, but the main gist of your spiel seems to be that you are a Pro-war Hawk ? I am sure that somewhere within your “Word-salad” there might be SOMETHING that I agree with.

Drew
Drew
10 months ago
Reply to  Larry Smith

You must have some reading comprehension issue.

fifth_disciple
fifth_disciple
11 months ago

Advice for America about the Middle East and Asia from a Slovenian Libertarian living in the Philippines. Priceless!

Guilt-Deprived WN
Guilt-Deprived WN
11 months ago

This article is very insightful. However, it suffers from the fact that the writer’s mother tongue is not English and his ability to construct complex sentences is not the best, making his explanation of events somewhat confusing and hard to follow.

Another shortcoming is inherent to the subject. The events leading up to the present fiasco are involved and challenging to explain, although they are essential to appreciating the gravity of what is happening.

On the other hand, “Let’s go beat their ass” is easy for Bubba to understand and get behind. This means that Trump may have a great deal of popular support should he decide to launch World War 3, despite the fact that one major factor in his getting elected was that he had voiced support for normalizing relations with Russia and getting out of the Middle East. His continual hard line against Iran has proven to be the major exception to this, and we are now beginning to see which of his commitments is going to dominate.

dingy
dingy
11 months ago

Trump must be lucky or somebody is restraining him, because WW3 hasn’t started yet, has it?

dingy
dingy
11 months ago

There IS a value in recounting history in order to understand present actions. But unfortunately this article left out exculpatory events that tend to negate the argument that the US is solely to blame for the history.

GENE
GENE
11 months ago
Reply to  dingy

please share with us

Drew
Drew
10 months ago
Reply to  dingy

So warmongering all over the world for a long time and now pushing for nuclear WW3 on behalf of the banking Tribe is not enough proof for US criminality?

dingy
dingy
10 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Trump must be just plain lucky…WW3 hasn’t happened yet, has it?

dieter heymann
dieter heymann
11 months ago

What the West under the leadership of our nation is now doing to the Near- and Middle East is a kind of repeat of the imperialistic destruction of China, Indochina, and Indonesia in the 19th and early 20th centuries. We are not very original, are we?

Bankotsu
Bankotsu
11 months ago

Maybe the Iraqi paramilitaries will begin all out war with U.S. troops in Iraq?

Nick Rhynes
Nick Rhynes
11 months ago

The freaking balls on the US of A.

I guess as an occupation force you get to pretty much do what you want. The sad part is that Iraqis still haven’t thrown them out after all these years. Maybe this is finally when they stand up and throw us out.

Al Carbone
Al Carbone
11 months ago

that fat slob Sadr is also an American puppet. for 15 years he has been talking s hit about throwing americans out. he has done nothing. also during the war he never attacked americans only went after the Iraqis that were fighting the US

Jude
Jude
11 months ago

In order for John Bolton to NOT testify in the impeachment hearings 45 will bomb Iran for him the Neo-Cons and the Israeli’s…..

dingy
dingy
11 months ago
Reply to  Jude

Didn’t happen, did it?

Jude
Jude
11 months ago
Reply to  dingy

Ummm….Qasem Soleimani: US kills top Iranian general in Baghdad air strike!
This was the same as attacking Iran… so yes it did happen and BOLTON DIDNT TESTIFY. Did he testify? The answer is no , so STFU !

rwordplay
rwordplay
11 months ago

War is hell. Hell on Earth. Perhaps even a glimpse of Hell itself.

James Willy
James Willy
11 months ago

Start arming the people there with manpads. Start using them every time a yankee flies near. Like they did in Nam. Why is this not a regular feature every day for the world to cheer on? Iran should be sending in hundreds of them for everyone to use.

Mary E
11 months ago

The US military has no right to be in Iraq – their ‘mission’ to rid Iraq of ISIS is done and , they must leave, BUT, once imbedded in a country, whether they are wanted or not, the US remains….they are a pestilence that is almost impossible to get rid of.
It is costing them $Trillions to rem-in unwanted- in many countries, but don’t even think that they might leave on their own…they won’t so prodding is needed……now.

Nick Rhynes
Nick Rhynes
11 months ago
Reply to  Mary E

We tas payers foot the bill to keep our troops there so the corporations can steal the resources. The Powers That Be dictate who gets to grab what while their buddies run the mercs/contractors.

Everyone wins but the people, civility and humanity.

dieter heymann
dieter heymann
11 months ago
Reply to  Mary E

I have checked whether we have a Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq today. The best answer I can come up with is no we do not have such an agreement with Iraq today. Apparently the only such agreement we ever had with Iraq was signed by President Bush in late 2008 [1] and expired at midnight of December 31 of 2011. Hence we probably are today an occupying force in Iraq which means that our soldiers may not be protected by any laws other than those of the Geneva Conventions of Warfare unless there is some other agreement with Iraq which allows them to stay temporarily. Iraq forces might have the right to try to chase them out of Iraq by any means.
[1] SOFA agreements are rarely if ever approved by the Senate hence are not treaties.

John McClain
John McClain
11 months ago

As a retired U.S. Marine, I am totally disgusted with the utter lack of honesty of my government, the complete absence of respect for any others, I’ve fought this war, from its inception, while on active duty, garnering anger, bad fitness reports, but sending the message “up my chain of command” “this is a criminal war, you are invading in “offensive war”, violating all Geneva convention protocols.
The facts stated here, are true, honest, and well considered, in no way “exceptional”, except in the U.S. “insouciance” over waging wars anywhere they choose. Every act which has escalated the war, has been that of the U.S. “Congressional, military industrial complex”, with sole intent to maintain global hegemony, watching its power collapse, as we are thrust ever deeper in debt, and ever less able to “leverage” anyone, other than with warfare. We never should’ve gone there in 89, my government knew at the time, Hussein’s claims, the Kuwaiti’s were in fact “horizontal drilling into Iraq’s oil field”, and Iraq had every right to defend their territorial land.
As a child, I believed the last refuge of honor, was among the Military, because such men were the most honorable I commonly met. I’ve since discovered, it’s only those who have been “wounded with the truth”, who hold their honor, those who are un-aflicted, have no honor, only loyalty to government. I pray Iraq throws us out, and soon. We have no good intentions for any foreign nation.
Semper Fidelis,
John McClain
GySgt, USMC, ret.
Vanceboro, NC, USA

paulthecabdriver
paulthecabdriver
11 months ago
Reply to  John McClain

Hey Sarge, if you knew it was a criminal war, why didn’t you quit as soon as you found out, taking as many men with you as possible? Aren’t you not supposed to obey any illegal orders?

John McClain
John McClain
11 months ago

Quitting is something I don’t do. I began teaching the Marines under my authority, more than avionics, mechanics, the issues of war, and focused on “oaths” the Constitution, by which we are bound, and the laws of war. I went to every advanced school the Corps offered, and worked to make change from the inside.
We don’t leave our own behind. A Gunny made sure I was educated, to the truth of war, I was obliged to do the same. It’s always easy to “cut and run”, the hard thing to do, is face the wrong, and correct it, or do one’s utmost, no holds barred. How often do you write to congress? How long, to who else do you write, I’ve been active in politics since nine, highly active till 18, and enlisted to be “better than those drafted, who had no heart in something they couldn’t stop.” I grew up watching my “older brothers”, every boy on the block, go off to an insane war, while watching the previous “insane war” played on t.v., as MASH.
I guess I could have turned a blind eye, but I chose to stay, and fix the country I was born in, and love. Is anyone out there who actually likes how California has changed? I was born there, 60 odd years ago, and loved it all my life, until I spent a decade driving there, helping my sister escape from an Egyptian husband, violent, to her, two children and anyone who got in his way. Took some six years to beat “his ease with the Ca. justice system”, but he finally went too far, in front of a judge. There is nothing there I am drawn to, living there would be prison.
Semper Fidelis,
John McClain
GySgt, USMC, ret.
Vanceboro, NC

paulthecabdriver
paulthecabdriver
11 months ago
Reply to  John McClain

Isn’t that kind of like sayiing, “Yeah, I chose to work for Al Capone, but when I found out he was a violent criminal, I worked to straighten out his gang members, and worked with the South Side Mob to clean it up from within. I taught my soldiers everything I know about fixing up Model Ts; but I also taught them the wrongness of Prohibition in general.”
I’m not trying to bait you. I know that in your heart, you did what you think was right. But being a member of a gang and accepting their pay, and doing what they say makes you a gangbanger.
It does not matter what kind of lipstick you put on that pig.

Mark Slinger
Mark Slinger
11 months ago
Reply to  John McClain

I agree with your assessment, but we only have one President and I stand behind him. Just as I did with the Obamanation and that Son of a bleep, Bu- _shi77er. I fear this is wrong, but will wait to condemn President Trump until it plays out a bit more. If you watch Tucker Carlson, I am pretty much in line with his idea on this. Except I trust the CiC.

John McClain
John McClain
11 months ago
Reply to  Mark Slinger

I would suggest you take a listen to Arlo Guthrie’s “The Watergate Song”, and seriously consider the implications. I was lied to about why we went to Beirut, I was lied to by Generals, about half a dozen, “over the horizon missions”, backing “our quest for free oil”, and believed it could be fought by political means.
In the early nineties, I realized there truly was no different in policy, regardless of “president”. I thought we’d done a great work, electing Mr. Reagan, but while his ideals were great, he too, had no control over “State”, and the Iran-Contra affair was no different than our “starving the Venezuelan’s for over a decade, and invading them with CIA.
We have a Constitution, but it demands a “whole People” understand it, trust it, believe in it, yet we have a vast majority population believing this is a “democracy”. It’s a Republic, “government under the rule of law”, democracy is a stealth word for socialism, a stealth word for communism, and I’ve lived through “Red Brigades bombing” as a three year old, in Barcelona, Spain.
We don’t leave our own behind. My gunny in my first permanent duty station, remained in, despite his disgust with “Johnson’s War”, precisely to raise Marines like myself up, to honor our code.
I spent my last decade, teaching, in particular, our Constitution, because that is what “all oath keepers” take their oath to, not to the office, government, not even to “The People” for good reason: they all are subject to change, by mood, the Constitution is as fixed, firm and established as “We, The People” make it. I know only those who are born into “military families”, and the very few who are completely intrigued by it, have ever even read it.
We have a “deep state” precisely because, “We, The People” care more about our video, our shows, everything comfortable, over work, real money, and “earning our way” through life. We’ve allowed all the clowns, because we’ve never said, simply “no, none of the above”, nor have we “turned out congress” at each election, if the U.S. government rules itself, it’s because we failed to maintain our own education.
We don’t leave our own behind.
Semper Fidelis,
John McClain
GySgt, USMC, ret.
Vanceboro, NC

gary2505Texas
gary2505Texas
11 months ago
Reply to  John McClain

Thank you for your service and good riddance. As an American you have the freedom to leave my country and seek happiness elsewhere. Best of luck.

John McClain
John McClain
11 months ago
Reply to  gary2505Texas

I moved to Barcelona, Spain barely a year old, I saw bombings by “the Red Brigades” in our town square at two or three, I lived there two years, a navy brat, then two in Naples, Italy, where the bombs were every month, not once a year or so, because the “social democracy” of Italy, wouldn’t ban “the Red Brigades” as General Franco did, having fought them since a Lieutenant, through General, and ended the communist invasion saving Spain.
I returned state-side, at six, discovering nothing I knew about “America” was true, having read my father’s childhood books, and having walked through “western history”, and taught, by our librarian mom, every inscription on every stone one can find in a history text book.
All my life, my father and I argued, he always closed with: “John, we’ve got the worst government in all the world…..except for all the others. I had to agree with him into the seventies, but we, America, have imposed a tax on the whole world, by simply inflating our money, and being in control of “world finances”, I’m not much of one for “bullies”, I fought them every year or two, when I changed schools.
I’ve fought this criminal government since about nine, when I moved to Chicago, full on, but clearly, we’ve lost control of it, for lack of interested parties.
If I could afford to, I would leave. America is going to have its greatest collapse ever, because no effort was ever made, to have “honest money”, since congress, criminally, installed “the fed”.
Don’t thank me for my service, you obviously don’t mean it. Step up and volunteer, go fight the wars, then castigate me.
Semper Fidelis,
John McClain
GySgt, USMC, ret.
Vanceboro, NC

gary2505Texas
gary2505Texas
11 months ago
Reply to  John McClain

I volunteered and fought the wars and I did mean it. Including the part good riddance. We don’t need collapsed Americans. We need strong dedicated patriots that want to preserve the Republic.

dingy
dingy
11 months ago
Reply to  John McClain

You are a child prodigy! Either that or you are exaggerating. Or, more properly, the memory of your early years has carried the patina of your later thinking.

John McClain
John McClain
10 months ago
Reply to  dingy

I don’t believe I was a “child prodigy”, but I’d moved three times before moving to Barcelona, was blind in my left eye, turned completely inward, and we happened to take an apartment that was three or four blocks from the eye surgeon who invented corrective surgery for “skew eye”. At less than a year and a half, we walked down the street and I got seen, an appointment made, and got my left eye straightened, the outer muscle, shortened, and got full eyesight back. It took about six months of a patch, weird glasses, clear in the left eye, skewed in the right, but I regained 100% of my vision. I am of the belief, events in life determine when we become aware to the big world outside, and I was aware from getting my eye, and still have memories from that period, 60 years later.
I’ve noted “military brats” tend to be aware of their world young, my best friend, born a “Marine brat”, with spina-bifida, got his first wheel chair at two, had thirty or forty surgeries by then, probably well over an hundred, by ten, and has memories that go back to pre-wheelchair days.
My elder sister was well aware of what we did, walking through western history, with our “librarian Mom”, however she wasn’t so focused, remembers much, but not the details, it wasn’t so striking, to her.
I chose to be a “blacksmith” at that age, and grew up to cast metal, work it, am a machinist, tool and die maker, welder, I own my own machine shop and heavy equipment repair, to this day, because of those young experiences.
Semper Fidelis,
John McClain
Vanceboro, NC

SIU1968
SIU1968
11 months ago
Reply to  gary2505Texas

The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

gary2505Texas
gary2505Texas
11 months ago
Reply to  SIU1968

If you say so.

Anti-Empire