Iraq War, 15 Years Later

Exactly 15 years ago today, president George W. Bush announced that the United States was going to attack Iraq with a campaign of “shock and awe” and then invade and occupy the country due to weapons of mass destruction that were never to be found.

Estimates are that up to 500,000 Iraqis were murdered or killed as “collateral damage” or as a result of the war.

15 years on, Iraqi leaders, like Prime Minister al-Abadi, worry about corruption and about getting torn apart by US and Iran as each try to influence and control Iraq:

To see how al-Abadi plans to do that, TIME sat down with him in his office, inside Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, in the palace where Saddam Hussein ruled Iraq until the U.S. invasion in March, 2003. During the discussion, Abadi spoke about the “epidemic” of corruption in his country, what it will take to keep ISIS from regrouping, as well as regional issues such as the war in Syria and the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Prime Minister was also frank about the support Iraq received from Iran, and pleaded with the Islamic Republic and the U.S. not to turn his country into a battlefield for any proxy conflict. “Keep your differences away from Iraq,” he said.

Iraqi members of parliament, meanwhile, worry about the US using the fight against ISIS as an excuse to re-occupy the country:

Knooz Media quoted MP Ali al-Morshidy as saying Sunday that the U.S. administration is plotting to expand its “military bases in Iraq under the pretext of fighting the Islamic State (IS) group and providing security advice for the Iraqi government.”

The American public, meanwhile remains fairly divided by people who say the war was worth it and those who say it wasn’t:

Nearly half (48%) of Americans say the decision to use military force was wrong, while slightly fewer (43%) say it was the right decision, according to a Pew Research Center survey, conducted March 7-14 among 1,466 adults. Current opinions about the war in Iraq are little different than in early 2014, when 50% said the decision to use force was wrong and 38% said it was right.

For a more in-depth Iraq war veteran perspective, you can listen to a fascinating interview from Vince Emanuele, an Iraq war veteran and community organizer.

Gen. David Petraeus, who led U.S. forces in Iraq during the difficult “surge” period, was asked about the war.  And while he could not say much about the success of the war, he had nothing but good things to say about the Americans who sacrificed and fought in the war:

“I think everybody who was in Iraq, who served there, who knows the sacrifice it entails, who knows the cost in blood and in treasure… has been frustrated to see how the country slid back after we left in late 2011,” Petraeus said in an exclusive interview. “But at the end of the day, I think we also have a degree of quiet pride that when our country needed us, we answered the call.”

The “truly remarkable Americans” who joined the military after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks knew that their country would send them to war, said Petraeus, who added that it was an incredible privilege for him to lead U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Our job was to do what our country needed us to do to carry out the policies that were decided,” Petraeus said. “We certainly did that to the best of our ability. The accomplishments during the surge, in particular in Iraq, were truly historic, if you think about driving violence down by some 85% and bringing a country back together that had been on the verge of an all-out Sunni-Shia civil war.”


Australia’s Racist Mentality

The US gets slammed as racist, and our conservative leaders take a lot of heat for having white “centric” policies.  And European nations and other western nations usually escape a lot of the heat and get characterized as “more welcoming,” even though that’s simply not the case.  Enter Australia.  In recent years the world has faced a refugee crisis, and many countries including the US and European countries took on thousands–in some cases millions–of refugees who faced likely death, imprisonment, or safety risks back home.  Australia, however, ruthlessly rejected refugees who have nowhere else to go:

“Australia’s policy of exiling asylum seekers who arrive by boat is cruel in the extreme,” Anna Neistat, senior director for research at Amnesty International, said in the group’s report on migrants who’d been held at Australia’s behest on Nauru — most for at least three years. “Few other countries go to such lengths to deliberately inflict suffering on people seeking safety and freedom.”

Now this is not to say Australia is right or wrong or whether its policies should change.  That’s up to the Australian people.  The point is, however, that Australia’s reaction to refugees is entirely different when they are of the white race, rather than members of one of the “lesser” races:

White farmers “deserve special protection,” Peter Dutton, Australia’s home affairs minister, who oversees immigration, said in an interview on Wednesday, amid a debate in South Africa over redistributing white-owned land to black citizens.

“I think these people deserve special attention and we’re certainly applying that special attention now,” said Mr. Dutton, who proposed offering white farmers expedited visas to resettle in Australia on humanitarian grounds.

Asians escaping communist countries?  Get the hell out!  White farmers from South Africa, “Special attention” for you!  Dutton in particular seems to love to help out white people while making excuses about why he can’t help the “lesser” races:

The Australian government has turned back 20 boats carrying 633 asylum seekers in the past 18 months, the immigration minister announced on Thursday.

Peter Dutton confirmed there had been 20 turnbacks since December 2013 but would not go into detail about when they occurred.

He framed the announcement as the successful prevention of asylum seeker deaths at sea and said that if those 20 boats had been allowed to reach Australia “200 or 2,000” could have followed.

No no, it’s not that we are ruthlessly turning their boats around in open sea and sending them back to brutal and oppressive regimes where they face imprisonment and interrogation.  We’re just saving lives!!  If they were white, however, maybe they’d get special attention and expedited visas.



Trump Jr.’s Meeting with Russian Spies

Over the course of the last week, we’ve learned about a meeting between Russian spies and Trump Jr., which took place during the presidential campaign and in Trump Tower.  On Sunday, we learned there was an unreported meeting between Donald Trump Jr., and potential Russian foreign agents.  On Monday, we learned that the meeting was arranged by a Russian.  on Tuesday, we learned that the meting was with Russian foreign agents and about Russian sanctions.  On Wednesday, we learned that the meeting was specifically about the Russian government helping Trump with the “Hillary problem.”  On Thursday, we learned that a second Russian agent was at the meeting, and that the person is a known former counter intelligence spy and Russian lobbyist.  Yesterday, Friday, we learned that there were actually twice as many people at the meeting than was originally reported.

There are many angles to this meeting, but probably the most significant is the fact that Russian lawyer, with deep ties to Putin (and therefore a likely government agent), Natalia Veselnitskaya, was present.  Veselnitskaya represented Russian company Prevezon, which was indicted in the U.S. for money laundering.  After Trump took office, however, the case was abruptly dismissed.

The timeline is interesting.   On September 10, 2013, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara indicted Prevezon for money laundering in New York.  Prevezon then hired Veselnitskaya to represent it in the case.  Three years into the representation, on June 9, 2016, Veselnitskaya contacted the Trump team and promised to give them dirt on Hillary Clinton.  Trump Jr., was excited, claiming he’d “love” to get dirt on his political opponent from a foreign agent (which is a crime).

On November 9, 2016, Trump wins the election.  Then on March 11, 2017, two months into his presidency, Trump fired Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney that indicted Prevezon.  Two months after that, Trump’s DOJ, which is led by Jeff Sessions, a man that also had contacts with Russian foreign agents during the campaign that he lied about, settles the $230 million money laundering case against Prevezon for $6 million.

Was such a low settlement reasonable?  The Russians claimed that it was so low it proved that the U.S. was basically apologizing for filing the suit.  So either it was a bad, dead end lawsuit–which is unlikely since the U.S. Attorney’s office is filled with absolute top-notch lawyers–or it was settled for other reasons:

The settlement was so meager that one of Prevezon’s US attorneys said it was “almost an admission that they shouldn’t have brought the case.” Veselnitskaya herself crowed that it was “almost an apology from the government.”

It is important to also noted that some in the U.S. viewed the $6 million settlement as a victory since the key witness was thrown out of a window in Russia and all the U.S. could ultimately prove was money laundering of about $1.9 million.  Even the fired Preet Bharara seemed to think the resolution was a good one.

In any event, at the end of the day, Veselnitskaya got exactly what she wanted.



Russians Target Donald Trump Jr.

There have been a lot of development since I last posted, that have significantly changed the landscape of the Trump-Russian conspiracy.  But this latest development is significant.  In fact, George W. Bush’s own ethics chief is flat out calling the latest news “treason” or “very close to treason.”  Click here to watch the video.

So what is this treason?  If you missed it, the New York Times is reporting that Donald Trump Jr., met with an agent of the Russian government to discuss receiving Hillary’s e-mails in order to damage her campaign.  Furthermore, that the meeting was confirmed to Donald Jr., in writing, before hand.  This means that prosecutors can now prove that Donald Jr., was knowingly attempting to work with a foreign agent/government to disrupt the election, and directly connects the dots between the Trump campaign and Russian agents who stole Hillary’s e-mails.

Beyond making a direct connection between Don’s campaign and the Russian government, the article is interesting because it reports that the source of the information which led to the article was the Russian government itself.  A few days ago, Trump met with Putin and by all accounts was very friendly to Putin and kissed the Russian dictator’s ass.  Just a few days later, however, it appears that Putin has put the knife in the back of Don Jr., releasing information that directly, and in writing, ties the Trump campaign to the Russian government hackers.

It seems like little Donny Jr., is going down, and it’s the Russian government that put him there.  Perhaps Russia is disappointed that they did not get the results they wanted from Donny after he got elected.  Or perhaps Russia was just meddling in our elections to disrupt our country, which obviously it has.  But now that the election is over and they got what they wanted, Russia has no use for Trump and will slowly destroy his presidency to inflict maximum damage to our political infrastructure.  Or Maybe Donny forgot to make his loan payment to the Russian mobsters who finance his operations, and this was a reminder that he is a Russian bitch and nothing more.  Who knows.

We’ll see what happens next.

Kushner Becomes an FBI Target

We learned today that Jared Kushner is a person of interest in the FBI investigation into Trump campaign connections to Russia.  Coincidentally, it was also reported recently that Kushner pushed very hard to have Comey fired and also pushed to retaliate for the appointment of a special counsel.  He wanted to fight the investigations into Trumpland very hard—as if it was the fight of his life.

But what has Kushner done to become a potential target of a federal criminal investigation?  We know that back in December 2016, Kushner met with a Russian banker at the request of the Russian ambassador to the United States.

This raises questions because “Russian bankers” usually are agents of the Russian government and work very hard to move dirty Russian money around the world and help cover up Russian financial crimes.  In fact, a Russian banker was sentenced to 30 months in prison after he was prosecuted in federal court in New York.  The charge? Conspiring to work for Russian foreign intelligence services in the United States.  The prosecutor who took down the Russian banker?  The U.S. attorney that Trump fired earlier this year.

As for Kushner’s meeting in December 2016 with Banker Sergey Gorkov, Gorkov is also someone on the feds’ radar. Gorkov used to serve on the Executive Board and was Vice President of another Russian bank, Sberbank. (source)  This week Trump named Marc Kasowitz, an attorney who previously represented Sberbank in federal court, as his private counsel for the Russia investigation.  Kasowitz has another Russian client: a company operated by Oleg Deripaska, a man who Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, signed a $10M annual contract with to influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States.  Manafort’s contract with Deripaska had one major purpose—to benefit President Vladimir Putin’s government.

Trump and his buddies are pushing their way to the top of the FBI’s list.


Trump Cuts Deal With Saudis on the Same Day Saudi Funded ISIS Claims Terror Attack In England

On the same day that Trump announced a record weapons deal  with Saudi Arabia, news broke that the Saudi terrorist group ISIS murdered 22 people in England.  Before the attack, Trump was busy negotiating down the price from American companies for the Saudis–in other words he was negotiating against America for his Saudi friends. His little shit stain son-in-law Kushner even called the American company Lockheed to get a better price for the Saudis.  Right after Trump bent over and gave the Saudis everything they wanted, the Saudis then turned around and donated $100 million to Trump’s daughter’s charity.  Smell like a scam to you?

The Saudi Arabian royal family are Trump’s new lovers.  They use American weapons to murder civilians and bomb hospitals, causing a Cholera outbreak in Yemen.  They also spend their money on funding groups like ISIS or paying for and planning the 9/11 attack.  Trump knows this and yelled at Hillary during the election for taking Saudi money. Now that he is in the White House and sees dollar signs, however, he’s ready to take a bow for his Saudi masters just like Obama and Bush did before him.  There’s too much money on the table to care about dead Americans and civilians around the world.


Trump Passed Classified Intelligence to Russian Spies during White House Meeting

The fun started on May 10, 2017, when president Trump met with the Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and the Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office of the White House.  Kislyak is a known Russian spy.  Trump prohibited all American media from the meeting, but allowed Russian state news agency TASS, a Russian propaganda network, into the meeting.

Then on May 15, 2017, the Washington Post reported that Trump told the Russian spies during the meeting “highly classified information.” 

Trump’s people quickly came out and said it wasn’t true. But that didn’t last long. Instead of denying that he leaked classified information, Trump admitted it. He said he had the “absolute right” to share classified information with the Russians.  He also said he shared the classified information for “humanitarian” reasons. 

In response to Trump leaking classified information, Republican senator Collins has asked for a briefing on all of the info Trump passed to Russian spies.  Republican congressman Justin Amash is demanding that Trump share with Congress, in a classified setting, the “precise” details of Trump’s meeting with Russian spies.  Republican senator John McCain said that Trump’s sharing of information with Russian spies is “deeply disturbing.”

The intelligence community is also very angry. A former CIA agent said that Trump’s leak to Russian spies “will get Americans killed.”  And Israeli media is reporting that U.S. officials warned Israel not to share sensitive intelligence with Trump because Trump would pass the information to Russian spies would would then pass the information to Iranian spies. Iran is on record as wanting to destroy Israel.

Even Trump himself demanded that Edward Snowden be “executed” for giving “serious information” to Russia.