Iraqi Militia Suspends Attacks on US Forces, Paving Way for Troop Withdrawal

Yves here. Holy moley, if this reading of the latest developments in Iraq and the aftermath of the attack on the US installation in a still-disputed location (Jordan? Syria) is correct, there may be an unexpected silver lining to the servicemember deaths. If you are up on this developing story, Biden had decided to attack so-called Iran-linked militias rather than attacking Iran, keeping the response at a tit-for-tat level. That’s not such a bad outcome but still left room for more exchanges sooner rather than later leading to escalation, either by accident or design.

But this piece reports that the Iraq Kata’ib Hezbollah, which has nothing to do with the more famous Hezbollah in Lebanon, put up its hand and ‘fessed up to the attack. As important, it said it had nothing to do with Iran and promised to cut it out so as not to make life more difficult for the government in Iraq. It further contends this means the plan to pull US forces out of Iraq is back on track.

Admittedly I am not sure how I missed the underlying accounts, since CNN had the story hours ago, with the headline predictably depicting Kata’ib Hezbollah as “Iran-backed.”

Recall the press reported a few days ago the US will finally leave Iraq after being told in not very polite terms by the Iraqi government to get out and the US initially balked. From Aljazeera in US, Iraq begin formal talks on winding down US-led military coalition:

Currently, there are about 2,500 US troops still deployed in Iraq as part of the coalition that was formed in 2014 to help the Iraqi government defeat ISIL.

The US says its aims to set up a committee to negotiate the terms of the mission’s end were first discussed last year.

But as Israel’s war on Gaza ramps up, US forces in Iraq and Syria have faced frequent attacks by Iran-allied groups, resulting in US retaliatory attacks and Iraqi complaints of US “aggression” against its territory.

If you skim the Congressional Research Services report on the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the number evacuated was greater that the force commitment because we also attempted to transport US civilian personnel and US citizens along with “government personnel”.

By Jake Johnson, a staff writer at Common Dreams. Originally published at Common Dreams

A militia group that the Biden administration blamed for the deadly attack on U.S. forces stationed at a shadowy base in Jordan said Tuesday that it would stop targeting American troops in Iraq, a move that could clear the way for the withdrawal of U.S. soldiers more than two decades after the 2003 invasion.

“We announce the suspension of military and security operations against the occupation forces—in order to prevent embarrassment to the Iraqi government,” Abu Hussein al-Hamidawi, the leader of Kata’ib Hezbollah, said in a statement. “Our brothers in the Axis, especially in the Islamic Republic of Iran, they do not know how we conduct our Jihad, and they often object to the pressure and escalation against the American occupation forces in Iraq and Syria.”

Pentagon officials have specifically named Kata’ib Hezbollah as one of the groups behind the drone attack on U.S. troops in Jordan over the weekend. U.S. President Joe Biden and administration officials have said they ultimately hold Iran responsible for the attack, accusing that country’s government of funding and arming Kata’ib Hezbollah and other militia groups in the region.

Kata’ib Hezbollah’s leader said in his statement that the group has launched attacks on U.S. forces at its “own will, and without any interference from others.” Biden administration officials have admitted they have no evidence that Iran directed the Jordan attack.

Biden told reporters on Tuesday that he has decided how to respond to the Jordan attack but declined to provide any details.

Asked during a media briefing about Kata’ib Hezbollah’s statement, Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said he doesn’t “have a specific comment to provide, other than actions speak louder than words.”

The drone attack on American forces in Jordan came a day after the U.S. and high-ranking Iraqi officials held their first round of formal talks on the process of removing the roughly 2,500 U.S. troops still deployed in the country.

Analysts have argued that the continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria has dramatically increased the likelihood of a broader regional war. The Intercept‘s Ken Klippenstein reported Tuesday that U.S. military personnel in Iraq received a memo this month instructing them to be “on standby to forward deploy to support troops in the case of on-ground U.S. involvement in the Israel-Hamas war.”

Hisham al-Rikabi, an adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani, toldCNN on Tuesday that Kata’ib Hezbollah’s vow to suspend its attacks on U.S. forces “is the result of efforts made by” Iraq’s government to “ensure the smoothness of the negotiation process and in order to complete the withdrawal [of U.S. troops] from Iraq.”

The New York Timesreported Tuesday that Kata’ib Hezbollah had previously ignored the Iraqi government’s requests to stop attacking U.S. forces, “but once the attack in Jordan on Sunday took American lives, Mr. Sudani demanded a complete halt from Kata’ib Hezbollah.”

“Mr. Sudani reached out directly to Iran, according to a military strategist for the Revolutionary Guards who works closely with the Axis groups in Iraq,” the Times added.

Erik Sperling, executive director of Just Foreign Policy, said in response to al-Rikabi’s comments that, “if true, this is the least bad outcome.”

“Iraqi militias agree to stop targeting thousands of U.S. troops, who then can be safely removed from harm’s way, more than two decades after the disastrous Iraq war,” Sperling wrote on social media. “Hope we’ll see U.S. troops in Syria brought home too.”

Domestic and regional pressure on the U.S. to withdraw its forces from Iraq has grown since Israel began its latest assault on the Gaza Strip in October following a deadly Hamas-led attack. Militia groups, including Kata’ib Hezbollah, have launched upwards of 160 attacks on American troops in Iraq and Syria since October 7, and the Biden administration has retaliated with airstrikes in both countries—infuriating the Iraqi government and fueling concerns about a full-scale regional war.

The Jordan attack took those concerns to new levels as warhawks in the U.S. Congress demanded that Biden retaliate with strikes inside Iran. Progressive lawmakers, for their part, have called for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, warning that further military action would only exacerbate the regional crisis.

Amir Saeid Iravani, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, said Tuesday that “if any party attacks Iran’s territory, or its interests or citizens abroad, it will be met with a decisive response.”

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    1. Fastball

      Until Biden stops sending munitions to Israel until and unless Israel invokes a permanent cease fire, no he does not deserve credit. His support for Israel, no matter what it does and no matter what it costs Americans economically and risking World War III, he is risking all of our lives. Even Newsweek came out with a recent article stating that nuclear was is now an extreme risk. This President is playing with nuclear war in a manner not seen since the 1960s. The reason for these militias striking American targets is directly tied to Israel’s genocide in Gaza, all of it made possible by a single man: Joe Biden. It is not for nothing that he is called Genocide Joe.

    2. Detroit Dan

      Re: “Biden deserves credit for a change.” — I think it’s a little too early for that, but i hope you’re right. Who in the Biden Administration do we imagine doing the right thing in this situation (assuming that Biden at most was given this option by someone and did not take charge himself)?

      1. JonnyJames

        Yes: To what extent does JB actually make these decisions? His diminished cognitive state would indicate that he is just doing what the people in the NSC, CFR, CIA, DNC etc. tell him.

    3. timbers

      IMO, US forces don’t deserve an orderly exit. Force them out under cover of fire is more appropriate. And please do slam the dorr behind them so it hits them hard in you know what. But I do respect it is Iraq’s decision and respect that. Yet…am I the only one who doesn’t fully believe the US is acting in good faith here, and will actually withdraw troops? I will believe it when I see it happen.

        1. lyman alpha blob

          Thirded. Won’t matter much if they just move all the troops to an illegal base in Syria, while still keeping the US military infrastructure in Iraq under US control, just in case they need to return.

          Time for the George Aiken plan – declare victory and go home. From everywhere.

          1. nippersdad

            Without the bases in Iraq, how would we still be able to supply those in Syria? Under present circumstances the only other option for secure supply lines would be Jordan, and they are not happy with us right about now, either.

            Seems like if you do one then the other becomes a necessity as well.

      1. Medrick

        There’s a big difference between our troops there and the assholes that sent them. Walmart’s not hiring, and the measly jobs left require you speak Spanish “for market demographics”, so the military is the only option left.

        Can’t tell you how many guys have the names of their buddies who died in Syraquistan tattoed on their arms that I have met here. They are universally Trump supporters, remember, he wanted to bring them home, the military said you can’t do that. He listened unwisely. These guys know how to use arms and have combat experience and they will not let Biden pull anymore shit stateside, like keeping politicans off the ballot, or declaring another fake emergency.

        1. Lost in OR

          I joined the US Army in ’77 because I didn’t have other options. What a mistake.
          My reportedly “bad attitude” has not abated.

    4. ChrisFromGA

      I’m thinking that this is likely a nod to reality. A serious escalation in the ME would require the diversion of more resources from Ukraine, such as ISR and human intel to interpret satellite photos. Not a good time for that with Zelensky tottering and Russia making advances.

      There are real-world limits to how many wars an empire can fight at once.

      1. Amfortas the Hippie

        ill bet gourmet meals and free beer and homegrown hoglegs for a weekend, that biden, et al. soon suggests Foederati….all the immigrants already here get citizenship if they serve in the legion.
        and that the wars for hegemony maintenance continue.
        (we still have lots of rocks for throwing, after all…just not enough folks to throw them…after that, perhaps sand….although i have heard that sand is a dwindling commodity….)

          1. ChrisPacific

            Not priced high enough for direct sales to the Pentagon. You could offer them to Raytheon and they’ll add a margin.

    5. chris

      I don’t know how much of this is Biden. Could be the Pentagon told him what was possible and now he’s trying to look Presidential. The main tasks of any military are training, logistics, and maintenance. We are dangerous over extended on all three. It could be the people in the Pentagon are finally making it know what we can actually do with our diminished capabilities and now we’re leaving while we can. I have little hope that we’ll scale back everywhere in the same fashion but I’ll take a moment of possible peace anywhere we can find it.

    6. NotTimothyGeithner

      The fighting has forced a certain realization. I know grade inflation is rampant, but c’mon, really? He’s been President for three years and peddled himself as a foreign policy maker in the Obama White House. He’s very much responsible for this policy in the first place.

    7. Jams O'Donnell

      Biden? What did Biden have to do with it? The initiative came from ‘Kata’ib Hezbollah’. All Biden has to do now is withdraw US troops from Iraq and Syria, but he has not yet agreed to that, and with the current situation in Palestine it is not likely that he actually will agree – at least not within any useful timescale.

      1. Phenix

        Biden is a major neoliberal and neo-con/R2P politician. He is one of the architects of the US Empire abroad and at home. He bears responsibility for the collapse of the US Empire. He has repeatedly been in high leverage job functions to push neoliberal and neo-cons/R2P policy agendas that has completely bankrupt US institutions.

      2. JTMcPhee

        That was my first observation. How can it possibly be that people of the jihadi persuasion have such a degree of common sense and dare I say decency? Like they know something about politics and consequences? The initiative is totally from the Iraqi hezbollah side. This ain’t like Notagainistan, where the USUK armies paid the warlords and jihadists not to attack them on big news days, or as they struggled to move the petroleum fuel and lubricants over the Khyber Pass into the sandbox. I doubt the Iraqi militants are looking for jobs driving the deuce-and-a-halfs nd tankers out to the imperial outposts, which for some reason they have so far withheld the killling blows. Only bloody noses and scimitar cuts and the threat of chaos have gotten the neocons and militarists to the point of “entertaining a strategic rearward withdrawal to previously prepared positions” (the US Imperial Military Never Retreats, remember… until the PR ground has been thoroughly prepared — )

        My bet is that Nuland Blinken Bolton, and maybe General Prostate, are telling themselves the towelheads have blinked, and now it’s time to CRUSH THE HEEETHENS! The imperial administration deserves NO CREDIT, ZERO NONE. There’s way too much “invested” in MICbucks and facilities and, of course, CAREERS (the ones that get the big boosts from operations like Grenada where everyone gets more than one medal for valor, and even shhh! Afghanistan where shame got buried in the sandbox and asses like Petraeus “failed upward” into previously prepared and well-paid sinecures.) The Pentagram no doubt has contingency lily pads where it can stow the troops and gear, still in the “theater.” Or maybe off on the quest to trigger a land (and sea and air and space and cyber) war in Asia…

        “There will never ever be a Peace Dividend, or Medicare for All.” The vertically and horizontally integrated imperial machinery will see to that.

        No good deed goes unpunished, let’s remember…

        1. Felix_47

          You wrote “How can it possibly be that people of the jihadi persuasion have such a degree of common sense and dare I say decency? Like they know something about politics and consequences?” Great question that answers itself.
          I served a couple of years in AFG on the ground at a few forward bases. It always amazed me but not one jingle gas truck was ever attacked and they were on the roads all the time with no escort or protection. I never saw one hit. Not one. The Taliban could have easily shut us all down with no fuel as it all came through Jbad and the Khyber Pass. And my units had a liberal policy of letting the locals have fuel and other materials and we were never really hit. The Taliban valued health care and we provided it. The only guys that were targeted were assholes that did not respect the Taliban as equals. And they paid the ultimate price in a variety of ways. We were replaced once by a hard ass unit fresh from the states that locked down the post and did nothing for the locals and I heard they were hit every day and it took a few months for the commander to figure out that they were sending a message which he ultimately understood and acted on. The rest of their time was uneventful. Overall, the Taliban were a lot easier to work with and trustworthy than the average MBA or lawyer. As we contemplate 120000 deaths from Fentanyl per year sometimes I wonder if we could outsource our government to the Taliban to clear up the drug epidemic. Somebody has to be on the take to allow such porous borders. Within a year of us leaving opium was eliminated from Afghanistan. And the cluster F… when we left was 100% Bidenoid. The Taliban did not cause a problem… was our guys, the ISIS, who the Taliban and the Iranians hate.

    8. Paul Damascene

      Will be pleasantly surprised if this is not US kabuki. Trump ordered a pull-out from Syria and they just flat out lied, shifted from one base to another. US has promised to leave Iraq before.

    9. WillD

      He only deserves credit when he actually does something good – something that is morally correct, that saves lives, that helps people rather than harm them.

      Talk doesn’t earn him any credit.

  1. ciroc

    Wouldn’t the U.S. military simply see the cessation of attacks by Iraqi militias as a sign of their weakness? If so, an escalation of attacks against Syria would be inevitable.

    1. Amfortas the Hippie

      or an opportunity to declare victory….”we’ve smashed them into submission…just look at that tweet!!!…so much winning!!”…(waves branch for good measure)

  2. WJ

    I don’t believe Biden has the political capital to actually go through with this. It will be instantly spun by uniparty Republicans as a huge failure and even the media won’t back him up. So I don’t see this happening. Hope I’m wrong

  3. Rip Van Winkle

    Feb 1968 LBJ – “when you lost Cronkite, you lost the war.”
    Jan 2024 (re Joe Biden) – Joy Reid, “starting another f-in war”.

    History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.

    1. Medrick

      Reelect Biden-Harris

      “Four more wars!”

      “Four more wars!”

      Ukraine, Ecuador, Palestine, Yemen.

      Maybe only World War Three?

    2. Glen

      Indeed! Not much of a Joy Reid fan, but if she did reporting like that, I could become one.

      Because in that one little hot mic moment, she said what 75% of America is already thinking.

  4. EY Oakland

    I wouldn’t relax too much. This could be along the line of thinking offered by Larry C. Johnson re the insanity of US going to war with Iran, or escalating Israel’s war in the region. His advice if such a mad course was decided upon: US get your troops out of the region. Biden pretends he’s helpless at controlling Israel. The US pretends to believe Israel’s propaganda, its “dossier” re UNRWA; Blinken/Biden pretended to believe the story of Hamas beheading babies, cutting off womens’ breasts. The US has chosen to back Israel’s insane action. Only a permanent ceasefire will stop this situation from escalating. And I mean, not a 6-week-only ceasefire. Can that happen with the advisors who handle Biden?

    1. nippersdad

      I saw that podcast where Johnson discussed how Trump had been diverted from going to war with Iran by the Pentagon pointing out how quickly and badly we would lose any war with Iran. The unanimity of opinion by those analysts we have access to on how that would work out is pretty amazing, I can’t imagine that it is any less so at the Pentagon right about now.

  5. jo6pac

    Nope, not going happen. Vickie (cookies monster) nuland said the other day this wasn’t going happen. I guess we’ll find out who runs the govt;-) I’m betting vickie and her clan do.

    On another note, BGR has changed their site web site info.

    1. Yves Smith Post author

      If this is the Pentagon v. Vicky and Vicky loses visibly (as in the pullout plan proceeds) this would be proof her and the Kagan’s power is on the wane. Remember she was the driving force over decades behind the plan to use Ukraine to weaken Russia. That has been a monster backfire. I can’t imagine her power is what it once was.

      And recall how she was dispatched to Africa when that was hotting up and her meetings were a debacle???

  6. ISL

    I interpret this as US over-reach – too many bases that are convenient targets and cannot be defended. How many active wars can the US support with decimated war stocks? Scott Ritter indicates we stopped sending to Ukraine when NATO reserves ran out, we are sending from our own stocks to Israel, i.e., war with China is less likely every airplane of bombs for the IDF. Given that readiness of US weapons are officially 70%, but seem to actually arrive in Ukraine at far lower readiness, my best guess is that US stocks are not what our leaders tell us they are.

    As for credit to biden, its all speculation at this point. The prior president ordered a retreat from Syria (which was not speculative) and the Pentagon said no and we are still there. My take is that in this kind of matter, we do not have civilian control.

    1. JTMcPhee

      But I bet the nuke delivery systems are up to snuffing humanity out, even if the Air Farce officers manning and womaning and othering the land-based ICBM systems have to engage in institutional cheating to pass their competency exams. “What’s the clearance, Clarence?”

      Harris and Nuland have assured us they are ready, willing and able to Push the Red Button…

  7. Benny Profane

    I thought it was great when Biden announced withdrawal from Afghanistan, but that was incredibly clumsy and brutal, and, in the end, was done just to free up resources for the Ukraine project. Blinken even let that one slip out at the start of the Ukraine war. So, allow me to be skeptical at all this, but, really, what else can Biden do? No way can he start a war with Iran. It’s a blunder way worse than Dubya’s Iraq. He knows his bear hug of Netanyahu and the blank check to Israel has possibly doomed his next term to Trump, so maybe this is the beginning of repairs?

    1. JonnyJames

      Clumsy, brutal and lucrative: the US gov imposes illegal siege warfare (euphemistically known as “sanctions”) on Afghanistan, and stole billions of their central bank reserves. And the military contractors, weapons companies etc. made a killing as usual. It’s pretty bad when you loot and steal from the poorest country in the world and disastrous for the Afghan people as they continue to suffer and die. With all the other events worldwide, this has got scant little attention.

    2. Yves Smith Post author

      The story is more complicated. Trump tried leaving in Jan and was thwarted by the bureaucracy. Douglas Macgregor has gone on long form about this more than once. Macgregor argues Jan would have been a way better time, tribes in the mountains at that time of year so would could have exited w/o being pursued.

      I also believe but never tracked down the details that we were somehow committed to leaving Afghanistan. So it might be more accurate to say that Biden did not attempt to change that commitment or look for better timing.

      1. Expat2uruguay

        I seem to remember that we were committed to leaving Afghanistan, but on a slightly longer timeline and that Biden administration actually accelerated the timeline. Anyone else remember that?

        1. elkern

          My [admittedly unreliable] recollection is the opposite – that we were scheduled (committed by Trump) to leave in April, but Biden Admin pushed it back to August.

    1. nippersdad

      That does seem pretty crazy, but one can see the logic (for Israel) of amalgamating all of those tripwires from small posts in the desert and sending them en masse into the Golan Heights to face Hezbollah. The guy just may be crazy enough to do it. But once the body bags start showing up at Dover AFB it will be all over for Project AIPAC.

    2. ISL

      troops require munitions to support including AAD missiles and shells for counterfire. Anything the US fires in Iraq is one less they can give to the IDF to support potential genocide. Replenshing US stocks, if they stopped using them is many years away. And as new wars seem to be started monthly, they are only dwindling.

    3. The Rev Kev

      When Israeli invaded Lebanon in 2006 they did not need the US military so why should they be involved now? But it will be logistics that will put paid to this idea. Where are all those supply depots suppose to come from? It would take several months to build them up. What about medical infrastructure to see to casualties. Aren’t artillery rounds coming up short? What about tank and APC support. Fuel for the whole circus to run for several weeks. Are those US troops really going to trust those Israeli formations on their flanks? Can those soldiers really trust the Israelis not to lob a few artillery rounds and the like into them and say that it was Hezbollah in order to get more investment from Joe Public back home? What about air support? How will the nations in the region take to seeing the US military act as Israeli’s free mercenaries? What if those US formations get mauled by Hezbollah? How would that look. As far as I can see, it is all downside for the US to do this and not one single upside. Oh yeah, do not under any circumstances expect any gratitude by the Israelis as it is not going to happen and especially not from the Settlers. Too much pride and arrogance.

      1. Robert Gray

        > Oh yeah, do not under any circumstances expect any gratitude by the Israelis as it is not going
        > to happen and especially not from the Settlers. Too much pride and arrogance [emphasis added].

        The 2009 film American Radical: The Trials of Norman Finklestein by David Ridgen and Nicolas Rossier begins with Finklestein himself telling a little story that may be à propos here:

        You know the famous joke. A journalist goes around and asks a Russian, a Pole and an Israeli the same question. He first goes to the Russian. ‘Excuse me, what’s your opinion of the meat shortage?’ The Russian says ‘What’s an opinion?’ The reporter then goes to the Pole. ‘Excuse me, what’s your opinion of the meat shortage?’ The Pole goes ‘What’s meat?’ He then goes to the Israeli. ‘Excuse me, what’s your opinion of the meat shortage?’ The Israeli replies, ‘What’s “excuse me”?’

  8. nippersdad

    Amir Saeid Iravani, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, said Tuesday that “if any party attacks Iran’s territory, or its interests or citizens abroad, it will be met with a decisive response.”

    I just got done watching a Nikki Haley interview in which she was extolling the benefits of killing Iranian officials outside of their country. That quote sounds like it was aimed at Haley and Graham. They need to watch what they ask for, they might just get it and be surprised at the results. Turnabout is fair play, after all.

  9. Offtrail

    Here is an interview with Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) about a bipartisan letter he and three other senators sent to Biden questioning Biden’s decision to attack the Houthis without consulting Congress. It’s encouraging to see that there are such senators. Just not from my state.

    1. JonnyJames

      Sounds good, but my skeptical side says it is an empty gesture and they know damn well nothing will come of it. We are in an election cycle. It may sound extreme, but I don’t trust anyone in Congress. Nothing personal, the corruption is institutional.

  10. timotheus

    Mercouris said several days ago that a pullout from Iraq could signal the opposite of a climb down from war footing as it would remove the most vulnerable US targets in case of a big attack on Iran. It could mean an escalation will follow.

    If it’s true that the Syrian occupation force is facilitating the movement of stolen oil to Israel (, pulling those troops out would suggest something more peace oriented. Or so it seems to me.

    1. zach

      Certainly possible, but Mercouris has also been pushing a narrative that the US will absolutely positutely be declaring war… on Iran… aaaaaany second now… since Oct. 7 2023.

      The way the two of them keep banging that drum, in the face of plenty of evidence to the contrary, and their refusal to contend with the fact that the US is ill-disposed to take on Iran alone (and the US would 100% be going it alone – Operation Prosperity Guardian, anyone?), made me think that they want a war with Iran more than “they” want a war with Iran.

      I didn’t agree with Dreizin about much, but about those two, I think he may have been pretty accurate.

  11. VietnamVet

    These are very interesting times. Joe Biden is totally committed to Ukraine. His family fortunes are entwined with the oligarchs in Kiev. He is steadfast in his commitment for the West to obtain access to Eurasia’s natural resources. The Congressional Republicans by cutting off military funding to Ukraine and Israel are hitting him and the uni-war-party below the belt.

    What is interesting is that (as far as I can tell) the promised response to the Tower 22 drone attack has yet to occur.

    Even more startling is the western media’s steadfast refusal to discuss peace, signing UN armistices and building new DMZs/borders between the combatants. In the corporate/state worldview, there is either steadfast support of the current endless wars or “Bomb, Bomb Iran” to get WW3 to go white hot. Somehow, I get BBC’s home country news summaries. It reports stabbings, murders, and “horrific” corrosive attack on a mother and girls. Western media moguls are selling fear wholeheartedly and put Joseph Goebbels to shame.

    The withdrawal from Iraq and Syria, a Gaza Ceasefire, and reopening the Suez Canal are the responsible things to do but I have this gnawing fear that it is simply impossible for the Cartel of Oligarchs and the Five Eyes Deep State — the Western Empire to do what is in the best interest of the American or English peoples.

  12. Susan the other

    I’m assuming that heavily laden transport takes a longer time to achieve altitude because, as a concrete example, this morning I heard and tracked at least 10 separate transports leaving the west coast with their characteristic deep, loud rumble, but lasting a bit longer than usual, and as the rumble diminished in a southwest direction (to my old ears), I assume headed for Southern Asia. But who knows? So, who on gods earth can keep track of the proxies; they are a canopy of branches. And who believes any of it anyway? We are not backing down – that much I am sure of. We will achieve some control of Caspian oil before we give up, and Trump will make no difference to our new “war”whatsoever. Should we call it “war” or “purchasing power?” And what exactly is “genocide?”

  13. elkern

    If true, this (getting US troops out of Iraq [and maybe Syria?]) is *great* news – for US Americans, and most of the rest of the world. But… not for Israel. AIPAC has spent lotsa time & money making sure US troops are stuck in unfriendly countries in the Middle East, because the inevitable violence would help keep Americans convinced that Israel’s enemies are our enemies. (IMO, this was part of the reason behind the MSM attacks on Biden for withdrawing from Afghanistan).

    It also reduces Israel’s options for false flag attacks on US troops; so, leaving increases the chances of that happening sooner rather than later.

    Netanyahu probably thinks he “owns” Biden (and there’s ample evidence that he does), but I doubt that Biden actually *likes* him. (I don’t recall Bibi ever being accused of being “likeable”…). I view Biden as an “honest politician” (= one who stays bought), but in this case, I suspect he’s seething over *decades* of abusive treatment. He had a front-row seat to Bibi’s power-trip 2015 speech to the US Congress, which was a clear FU to Obama. Biden isn’t a cold fish like Obama (who had to get really good at avoiding the Angry Black Man stereotype to win elections); Biden still often thinks with his gut, and I suspect that he resents and personally hates Netanyahu. Yet Biden knows that defying AIPAC could cost him the election – endangering his “legacy” – so details (timing, presentation) will matter.

    So, best case scenario, US planes blow a few big holes in the desert somewhere in Iraq (and Syria?) and claim we have enacted justice for the three soldiers killed in Jordan, then we GTFO of Iraq and Syria. That *might* reduce tensions with Iran, but would prolly piss off Israel (which would be enjoyable, but very dangerous).

    Worst case scenario, we start WWIII (on purpose or by mistake).

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