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The Battle of Mosul isn’t just a war on ISIS, it is yet another war on Iraq

You cannot beat ISIS by becoming ISIS.

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It is painful to watch Iraq die a million times before its penultimate death. Between 1990 and the present day, there have been more years when Iraq has been bombed by the US and its partners, than years during which the opposite was true.

No other country can say the same in respect of that 27 year time frame. When Iraq wasn’t being bombed by the US, it was being sanctioned to death, while pirates plundered the profits from the inherently inhumane Oil For Food programme.

Seeing the recent images from Mosul, where more people have died in a day of bombing than during the entire Battle of Aleppo, including those killed in Aleppo by Al-Qaeda and other terrorists, one can only weep for Iraq. In spite of this, some Iraqis are challenging the clear evidence of war crimes. It is as though they refuse to believe that an Iraq which only a few years ago showed some small signs of resurgence, could stoop to this. But the reality exposes a gap between such wishful thinking and the facts on the ground.

This can be contrasted sharply with Syria.

The air forces of Syria, Russia and Iran could have easily flattened every terrorist occupied city and town in Syria. They could have then salted the earth. It would have taken less than a single week given the combined fire-power of the three countries. But then there would be nothing left.

Syria has taken time to rid itself of this evil. Sadly, many brave men have died to do this.

By contrast, the US led war on ISIS in Mosul has become more than a war on ISIS. It has become another war on Iraq, with the full compliance of the Iraqi government that formed in the aftermath of the toppling of the last fully legitimate government Iraq, which was illegally destroyed in 2003. I say this not as an enemy of Iraq but as an old friend of Iraq. But so many, including many Iraqis have been brainwashed into thinking their oppressors are their allies.

Legally speaking, the current US led war on Iraq is legal because the government in Baghdad has approved it. But this government, however technically legal and however well meaning certain members of it are, is ultimately a dis-unified government whose composition was the outgrowth of the illegal regime change of 2003.  Even without the presence of the barbaric ISIS, Iraq would almost certainly have not fully recovered this invasion by 2017.

Ron Paul has shared articles and spoken out against America’s aggressive new war on Iraq. Sergei Lavrov, while supporting the war on ISIS in Iraq, has criticised the methods of the US. Not even the most fervent neo-cons could accuse Dr. Paul or Mr. Lavrov of being individuals who worship Saddam Hussein. Yet much of the propaganda coming from the west and from certain quarters of Iraq, says that anyone who questions the legitimacy of the campaign is somehow a pro-Saddam Hussein nostalgia junkie. This is simply false. Others say that criticising the attacks on Mosul is somehow an apologist for ISIS. This is not only false, but it is deeply insulting.

I am a great admirer of Ba’athism and to that end, Ahmed Hassan al-Bakr was the best leader of Iraq’s Ba’ath government and the best modern Iraqi leader in history. Saddam Hussein was not, he had as man flaws as he had virtues. But even many of his old opponents admit that things were better even under him and even under sanctions, than they have been under almost constant war.

The fact of the matter is that you do not beat ISIS by becoming ISIS. Indeed you cannot beat ISIS by becoming ISIS.  When heads are severed from effective carpet bombing rather than by a rusty blade, when women are imprisoned by men in Iraqi uniforms rather than in ISIS costumes and when bodies are mutilated by ‘liberators’, it is hard to see the difference.

Where the Syrian Arab Army is made up for Sunnis, Shi’a and many denomination of Christian Syrian men and women, the Iraqi army is almost all Shi’a men. Iraq has become the sectarian, Balkanised state that both Bush Presidents wanted it to ultimately be.

Prior to the phrase being co-opted and molested by barbaric savages, the Arabic phraseالله أكبرالله أكبر (Allahu Akbar), meaning ‘God is great’ was spoken by Muslims to remain humble in times of joy that may have otherwise become frivolous. The flag of Iraq has those words inscribed on it. Never before has a nation been so humiliated, yet still ought to behave more humbly.

Where Syria is rapidly rising from the ashes, Iraq is fast becoming a sectarian ash-heap.

Many right wingers in Eastern Europe pretend that their left-wing post-war governments were not-legitimate in the long term. This is said in spite of the sustained peace these governments brought their people. The truth is that, the modern Iraqi government is technically legitimate, but technically so too is the bombing of Mosul. Tell that to the families whose children were killed by ISIS and whose other living relatives are now being bombed to death by the armed forces of their own country and its American ‘ally’.

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Trump Has Gifted “No More Wars” Policy Position To Bernie Sanders (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 148.

Alex Christoforou

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RT CrossTalk host Peter Lavelle and The Duran’s Alex Christoforou discuss how US President Donald Tump appears to have ceded his popular 2016 ‘no more wars’ campaign message and policy position to Bernie Sanders and any other US 2020 candidate willing to grad onto a non-interventionist approach to the upcoming Democrat primaries.

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“Is Bernie Stealing Trump’s ‘No More Wars’ Issue?” by Patrick J. Buchanan…


The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016.

“The president has said that he does not want to see this country involved in endless wars… I agree with that,” Bernie Sanders told the Fox News audience at Monday’s town hall meeting in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Then turning and staring straight into the camera, Bernie added:

“Mr. President, tonight you have the opportunity to do something extraordinary: Sign that resolution. Saudi Arabia should not be determining the military or foreign policy of this country.”

Sanders was talking about a War Powers Act resolution that would have ended U.S. involvement in the five-year civil war in Yemen that has created one of the great humanitarian crises of our time, with thousands of dead children amidst an epidemic of cholera and a famine.

Supported by a united Democratic Party on the Hill, and an anti-interventionist faction of the GOP led by Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee of Utah, the War Powers resolution had passed both houses of Congress.

But 24 hours after Sanders urged him to sign it, Trump, heeding the hawks in his Cabinet and National Security Council, vetoed S.J.Res.7, calling it a “dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities.”

With sufficient Republican votes in both houses to sustain Trump’s veto, that should be the end of the matter.

It is not: Trump may have just ceded the peace issue in 2020 to the Democrats. If Sanders emerges as the nominee, we will have an election with a Democrat running on the “no-more-wars” theme Trump touted in 2016. And Trump will be left defending the bombing of Yemeni rebels and civilians by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia.

Does Trump really want to go into 2020 as a war party president?

Does he want to go into 2020 with Democrats denouncing “Trump’s endless wars” in the Middle East? Because that is where he is headed.

In 2008, John McCain, leading hawk in the Senate, was routed by a left-wing first-term senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who had won his nomination by defeating the more hawkish Hillary Clinton, who had voted to authorize the war in Iraq.

In 2012, the Republican nominee Mitt Romney, who was far more hawkish than Obama on Russia, lost.

Yet, in 2016, Trump ran as a different kind of Republican, an opponent of the Iraq War and an anti-interventionist who wanted to get along with Russia’s Vladimir Putin and get out of these Middle East wars.

Looking closely at the front-running candidates for the Democratic nomination of 2020 — Joe Biden, Sanders, Kamala Harris, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker — not one appears to be as hawkish as Trump has become.

Trump pulled us out of the nuclear deal with Iran negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry and reimposed severe sanctions.

He declared Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, to which Iran has responded by declaring U.S. Central Command a terrorist organization. Ominously, the IRGC and its trained Shiite militias in Iraq are in close proximity to U.S. troops.

Trump has recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moved the U.S. Embassy there, closed the consulate that dealt with Palestinian affairs, cut off aid to the Palestinians, recognized Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights seized from Syria in 1967, and gone silent on Bibi Netanyahu’s threat to annex Jewish settlements on the West Bank.

Sanders, however, though he stands by Israel, is supporting a two-state solution and castigating the “right-wing” Netanyahu regime.

Trump has talked of pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the troops are still there.

Though Trump came into office promising to get along with the Russians, he sent Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine and announced a pullout from Ronald Reagan’s 1987 INF treaty that outlawed all land-based intermediate-range nuclear missiles.

When Putin provocatively sent 100 Russian troops to Caracas — ostensibly to repair the S-400 anti-aircraft and anti-missile system that was damaged in recent blackouts — Trump, drawing a red line, ordered the Russians to “get out.”

Biden is expected to announce next week. If the stands he takes on Russia, China, Israel and the Middle East are more hawkish than the rest of the field, he will be challenged by the left wing of his party, and by Sanders, who voted “no” on the Iraq War that Biden supported.

The center of gravity of U.S. politics is shifting toward the Trump position of 2016. And the anti-interventionist wing of the GOP is growing.

And when added to the anti-interventionist and anti-war wing of the Democratic Party on the Hill, together, they are able, as on the Yemen War Powers resolution, to produce a new bipartisan majority.

Prediction: By the primaries of 2020, foreign policy will be front and center, and the Democratic Party will have captured the “no-more-wars” political high ground that Candidate Donald Trump occupied in 2016.

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Over 200 killed, hundreds injured in series of blasts at Sri Lankan hotels & churches

A series of bombings hit churches and hotels across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, killing more than 200 people.

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Via RT…


A series of eight explosions rocked Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as Christians began Easter Sunday celebrations, with over 200 killed and hundreds injured, media reported, citing police.

The blasts started at around 8:45am local time at St. Anthony’s Church in Colombo and St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a Catholic-majority town outside of the capital. The Zion Church in Batticaloa on the eastern coast was also targeted. At around the same time, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury five-star hotels were also hit, police confirmed.

Two more explosions happened later in the day, targeting two more locations in Colombo. All attacks appear to have been coordinated.

At least 207 people were killed, Reuters reported, citing police. More than 450 were injured in the attacks.

Alleged footage of the aftermath, shared on social media, showed chaos and large-scale destruction inside at least one of the churches.

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Mike Pompeo reveals true motto of CIA: ‘We lied, we cheated, we stole’ (Video)

The Duran Quick Take: Episode 147.

Alex Christoforou

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The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris take a look at a Texas A&M University speech, and subsequent interview, with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The former CIA Director admitted, ‘as an aside’ to the question asked, that the Intelligence agency he headed up before being appointed as the top US Diplomat had a motto “we lied, we cheated, we stole”…which, according to Pompeo, contained entire CIA training courses based on ‘lying, cheating and stealing.’

Pompeo finally speaks some truth.

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