Trump repeatedly broke pledge to withdraw US troops from Mideast Reply

PressTV. Listen here.

US President Donald Trump has repeatedly broken his pledge to withdraw American troops from the costly wars in the Middle East, and is instead moving them to other parts of the region, says a political analyst in Virginia.

Trump is “trying to make it appear as though he’s winding down the war in Syria. One of the things that Trump ran for president for back in 2016 was he claimed that he was going to wind down America’s involvement in all of these various wars in the Middle East,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“[But] since then, he’s been dragging his feet to a large degree when it comes to doing some of that,” Preston told Press TV on Saturday. “For example, he’s been very slow to withdraw from Afghanistan.” 

US Army chief of staff, General Mark Milley, said Sunday that American troop levels in Syria are expected to stabilize at around 600 and the presence of US military forces in the Arab country is for American national interests.

The US Army general also claimed that it was important for US troops to remain in Syria so long as the Daesh (ISIS) terrorist group has a presence there.

PressTV-Top US general says 600 troops to remain in Syria

PressTV-Top US general says 600 troops to remain in SyriaA top US army general says American troop levels in Syria are expected to stabilize at around 600.

Although Trump recently ordered the withdrawal of a small number of US troops from northern Syria, he is still planning to keep a military presence in that same region to “secure” the oil fields in the border area.

Getting American troops out of costly wars in the Middle East has long been a promise of Trump, but his latest decisions in Syria and other countries in the region may not be achieving much of that promise.

And a large number of US forces that are being withdrawn from Syria are not to be sent back to the United States, but the plan has been to move them to neighboring Iraq and keep them in the region.

Experts say American military presence in the Middle East is not really decreasing and argue that there are many chances for the US to get entangled in further conflict in the region.

Trump has also repeatedly advocated for bringing US troops back from Afghanistan. American forces have remained bogged down in Afghanistan since 2001 through the presidencies of George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and now, Trump.

Congressman Prods Attorney General on Gold, Silver Trading Questions Ignored by CFTC Reply

By Chris Powell, Money Metals Exchange

A U.S. representative who has been pressing the Treasury Department, Federal Reserve, and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) with questions about the gold and silver markets has asked Attorney General William P. Barr to try intervene and get answers from the commission.

FTC Logo

In a letter dated November 1 and made public today, the U.S. representative, Alex W. Mooney, Republican of West Virginia, commends Barr for the Justice Department’s recent criminal prosecution of manipulation in the monetary metals futures markets.

But Mooney calls attention to the explosion in use of a mechanism called “exchange for physicals” for settling metals futures contracts in the United States, a mechanism that, Mooney contends, may pose “some danger of a systemic issue” if, as seems to be the case, those settlements are being transferred to European markets.

Further, Mooney complains to the attorney general that the CFTC is “apparently unwilling to answer a few straightforward questions which I and others have repeatedly posed, including questions about unusual activity” in the exchange for physicals mechanism.

Mooney questioned the CFTC in a letter sent February 5, echoing questions already posed by GATA and ignored by the commission.

The commission has not replied to him despite repeated inquiries.

“Given the CFTC’s delays in answering questions about these notable developments,” Mooney writes in his letter to the attorney general, “I would like the Department of Justice to examine the matter and provide me with the scope and purpose of EFP use, its legality, and whether full disclosure of EFP activity is (or should be) required.”

“Additionally, please let me know whether the CFTC’s jurisdiction extends to trading by the U.S. government and/or its agents or if such activity is exempt from oversight.

“With the recent explosion in EFPs,” Mooney concludes, “the CFTC’s failure to detect and/or prosecute criminal manipulation by participants in the precious metals markets is disturbing and needs to be addressed.”

Like GATA’s, Mooney’s inquiries seek to determine if the U.S. government or its agents are trading in the monetary metals markets for currency market rigging purposes and if such trading is subject to ordinary antitrust and commodity trading law and CFTC jurisdiction or is exempt under the Gold Reserve Act of 1934 as amended since then.

Mooney’s letter to the attorney general is reproduced in full here.

We urge U.S. citizens to write to their own members of Congress calling attention to Mooney’s letter and asking them to make similar requests for information from the attorney general and the CFTC.

Chris Powell is a political columnist and former managing editor at the Journal Inquirer, a daily newspaper in Manchester, Connecticut, USA, where he has worked since graduating from high school in 1967. His column published in newspapers throughout Connecticut. He is also secretary/treasurer of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc., (GATA) which he co-founded in 1999 to expose and oppose the rigging of the gold marker by Western central banks and their investment bank agents.

“What About the Children?!”: Youth Rights Before Parental Police States Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

What about the children?!” Some haggard disembodied voice wails from my flickering TV set, jerking me awake from the Ambien-grade slumber that any more than 15 minutes of C-Span inevitably delivers. It’s happened a thousand times before. The voice almost always belongs to some sobbing middle-aged white woman, overdressed like June Cleaver for some senate hearing on the dangers of one victimless crime or another, online prostitution or E-cigarettes or satanic Portuguese techno, always something new, always something to be terrified of. Part of me feels for the woman, I really do. She’s usually lost a child to something or other. She’s clearly in pain. But another disgraceful part of me wants to tell her to shut the fuck up and take some goddamn responsibility for your own life. Because, beneath the theatrics, 9 times out of 10, this pearl-clutching stock character is really saying “I couldn’t find the time to parent my dead child, so now the police state has to pick up the slack!” And the Wall Street whores of Washington take their cue and start passing more pointless legislation.

I know, I know, I’m a cunt. In today’s era of 24/7 stage 4 late capitalism, many parents are too busy working 80 shifts for peanuts to so much as even check in on their kids. But the wailing woman on C-Span is rarely a blue collar casualty. She and her ilk, who fill the ranks of an endless barrage of parental guilt trip lobbies like MADD are almost always well connected, upper middle class, office drones, who’s kids dropped dead while they were busy paying off the Beamer or banging the European tennis instructor. And now they’re busy boycotting Juul or Marilyn Manson or whatever suburbia’s chosen monster of the week happens to be, while the rest of their brood are at home with some over medicated nanny, experimenting with dryer sheets or some such nonsense. This army of rambling soccer moms call themselves children’s rights advocates and “What about the children?!” is the manic war cry they shout just before decapitating your, as well as their own damn children’s rights.

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Quid Pro Blowback: Did Erdogan Trade Baghdadi For Rojava? Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

It’s all over the news. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you. But I’m a muckraker and telling you what you know is the first half of my job. Baghdadi is dead! The terrifying Cobra Commander of Uncle Sam’s latest jihad Frankenstein, the Ayatollah of the fearsome Islamic State, the world’s deadliest Salafi super-villain, is dead. Dead as a door nail, as our ever-tactful commander in chief put it. Apparently he died like Rerun in the opening of What’s Happening, running and stumbling down a lantern lit tunnel, flailing his arms all about as he sobbed hysterically, only stopping to blow him and his children to smithereens with a suicide vest once his lungs were empty and his britches were full. This is the official story at least and the mainstream media seems more than happy to put down their impeachment pitchforks just long enough to parrot its Hollywood details with the unblinking innocence of a child. Brave, dick-swinging, red meat eating American heroes, flying fearlessly into the heart of darkness on their Apache choppers to wright all the wrongs and settle the score. This time there’s even dog so extrajudicial slaughter can be fun for the whole family. But as the days go by, this fable grows more and more suspect to all but the most diluted daydream believers.

Trump’s full-breasted boasts about watching the whole raid in real time on the ground like an executive episode of Cops have turned out to be pure weapons-grade bullshit. The only show the Donald was munching popcorn to that night was hazy overhead surveillance footage without a lick of audio. No matter. Trump’s a liar, even his supporters know that. This raid is still a momentous act of uncut American heroism. Real Rambo shit. But what do we really know about this raid? Every scrap of information we’ve managed to get our hands on comes straight from the State Department. You know, those fine upstanding bureaucrats who are still mining the deserts of Babylon for Saddam’s secret plutonium stash. Baghdadi’s been declared dead a dozen times before and if the motherfucker blew himself to bits, what makes us so damn sure that we even got the right guy? The Kurds are claiming they retrieved Baghdadi’s DNA from a pair of pilfered underwear. So skid marks from a panty raid hold this thing together, and the dogs of war felt confident enough with this evidence to blow up the block and chuck the corpse chunks in the fucking ocean? Am I really the only one who feels like they’re being sold a bill of goods here? Am I the only one with deja vu?

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US wants to eliminate any country that does not do its bidding: Analyst 3

Listen here.

The United States wants to eliminate any country, or any government in the Middle East region, “that does not do Washington’s bidding,” says an American political analyst in Virginia.

A Saudi-led group based in Riyadh has imposed illegal sanctions on Islamic Revolution Guard Corps and Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah. The so-called Terrorist Financing Targeting Center, which is only two years old, imposed the sanctions on Wednesday. The group also includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates.

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US, Arab allies impose illegal sanctions on IRGC
US pursuing regime-change policy in Iran

“All of this is part of an ongoing policy the United States has been carrying out which is ultimately aimed towards regime change,” Keith Preston told Press TV in an interview on Wednesday.

Preston believes the move against Iran is not particularly new and it a continuation of the failed maximum pressure policy against the Iranian nation.

“This is nothing that is particularly new. As we know the United States has certainly been escalating the sanctions that are imposed on Iran for some time now under the Donald Trump administration,” he said.

Preston noted that the six Persian Gulf Arab countries, namely, Saudi Arabia,  Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates, who are participating in the sanctions, were aligned with the US.

He believes the US always uses military and economic pressure, as well as covert operations, to pursue a regime-change policy in any country opposing it.

“The United States wants to simply eliminate any country, or any government in the region, that does not do Washington’s bidding,” Preston noted.

“And, of course, Saudi Arabia and [Persian] Gulf nations are central part of that because they are so closely in alliance with the United States. It’s simply symbiotic relationship,” he added. “And, of course, they see Iran as the primary barrier to the Saudi expansionist efforts in the region.”

In the meantime, Washington’s Arab ally, the Al Saud regime itself, may be in the final stages of its life.

The secretary general of Lebanon’s resistance movement Hezbollah said last month that the Saudi regime was on its last legs.

PressTV-Saudi regime in final stages of its life: Nasrallah

PressTV-Saudi regime in final stages of its life: Nasrallah

The chief of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement says the policies of current Saudi rulers accelerate the Al Saud regime’s demise.

Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the Saudi rulers were expediting the regime’s demise through their cruel policies.

“Cruel measures over the past 100 years, and the systematic corruption in the regime, suppression of people, and totalitarianism of its rules” are expediting the Wahabi Takfir regime’s soon to come demise, according to Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

Wahhabism is the official religion of in Saudi Arabia. Wahhabism, according to Wikipedia, has been accused of being a source of global terrorism, inspiring the ideology of Daesh and for causing disunity in Muslim communities by labeling Muslims who disagreed with the Wahhabi definition of monotheism as apostates (Takfir) and justifying their killing.

Why Nobody Chants “End the Fed” Anymore 1

By Clint Siegner, Money Metals Exchange

Americans hated it when the Federal Reserve handed trillions of dollars to crooked Wall Street banks following the 2008 Financial Crisis. Politicians were confronted about the merits of central banking and bailouts.

For the first time in history, college students were chanting “End the Fed” at campaign rallies as Ron Paul took the central bank to task during his presidential campaigns.

Virtually everyone in America vehemently opposed the central bank handing piles of cash to the same bankers whose greed and fraud had caused the Financial Crisis.

Little has changed, but the public’s revulsion taught them an important lesson. If they give handouts to greedy and fraudulent bankers, they had better do it in secret.

Avoiding a public outcry is probably why there is scant information about what is actually happening in the repo markets right now. The Fed continues to ramp up its overnight lending operations and has now poured in just short of three quarters of a trillion dollars in the past month.

The stated reasons for injecting all of this freshly printed cash are dubious at best.

More…

Scary Movies for Anarchists to Watch in the Dark 1

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

The horror film is hands down the most woefully underrated genre in cinema. Art at its very finest provokes and there is no subject more provocative than death. Death is the only existential constant in the human experience. Like it or not, we are all born to die. So it only follows that human beings should be both fascinated and terrified by death in equal measure. This fascination is precisely what powers the commercial drive behind the horror industry. There has never been a time since cinema’s infancy when audiences haven’t flocked to the theater to be frightened. People are drawn to fear but when that fear is followed through with analysis they become too uncomfortable to enjoy the cheap thrill of being terrified without consequences. But there are always consequences.

This is why mainstream horror movies have largely been reduced to the cheap thrills alone. The last thing Hollywood wants is for terrified people to think about what terrifies them most. This isn’t just a grave disservice to an entire genre of art. It is a grave disservice to society as a whole. Only when confronted by that which makes us most uncomfortable can we collectively overcome it. Since, as an anarchist as well as a lifelong horror movie buff, nothing makes me more uncomfortable than the state and the established order that thrives in its haunted architecture, I’ve decided to compile a list of movies that should both terrify and provoke anyone’s god-given anti-authoritarian impulses. Not every movie on this list is a horror film in the traditional sense, but they all foster skepticism of authority through the strategic use of terror. These are scary movies for anarchists to watch in the dark and maybe, if we’re lucky, a few of them will be scary enough to create a few new anarchists in the dark this Halloween.


They Live (1988)-  The first film on this list isn’t exactly scary, what with its cheesy one-liners and comically over the top street brawl (“Put on the fucking glasses!”) But beneath the B-movie grime, few films have done a finer job of illustrating the cryptic authoritarianism that lies just beneath the shiny visage of liberal democracy. Once Roddy Piper puts on those shades, he sees right through the trappings of glossy magazines, fiat cash and Reaganomics and becomes literate enough to read the true message of the extraterrestrial oligarchy, loud and clear. When it comes to capitalism, they live and you sleep. This is a movie about getting woke. Now put on the fucking glasses cause we’re just getting started.

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Make Halloween Dangerous Again! Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

Halloween is quite easily my favorite holiday. A heathen celebration the Christians failed to conquer, it’s a time of joyful chaos and youth rebellion decorated by skeletons, scattered leaves, flickering jack-o-lanterns, and bonfire smoke. A holiday where serial killers are lionized and everyone dresses in drag, betraying conformity to expose their darkest desires to be whores and outlaws. It’s the one time of year when a genderfuck malcontent like me can feel halfway normal without having to sell out. It’s also arguably this stupid countries only truly anarchist holiday, or at least it was and it still should be.

There was a time, not so long ago, when Halloween meant one night a year when kids owned the streets, wandering unsupervised from house to house dressed in disguise like demons and monsters, appropriating candy from random strangers under the threat of vandalism like tiny unions of egoists. Trick or Treat began as a threat. You could hand over the good stuff (and it better be good) or you could get your house fucked up in a toilet paper draped act of propaganda of the deed, letting the whole neighborhood and any other passing horde of hoodlums know who fucked up and why. In certain parts of the country there was a completely separate holiday called Hell Night, when children engaged in mass acts of gleeful sabotage against the parents, teachers, clergy, and cops who made them feel powerless during the rest of the year. Windows were broken, tires were slashed, and a sense of justice was returned to the universe.

Halloween and Hell Night weren’t like Christmas or Easter. The only gifts you got where the gifts you took, the gifts you earned. It was an empowering event that celebrated lawlessness and the collective power of us against them. So it should come as little surprise that the thems of this world have conspired to neuter this heathen celebration of unfettered youth power, by badge, bible, or checkbook. Over the last couple decades Halloween has been transformed into something truly monstrous, the worst kind of monster, a fascistically vanilla monster called “normal”. A pejorative so hideously fowl that it could have only been created by an adult, dead from the heart up.

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The Fed’s “Not QE” Is Morphing into “QE4ever Reply

By Mike Gleason, Money Metals Exchange

Another week, another new and expanded repo market intervention by the Federal Reserve. On Thursday, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York intervened twice with fresh liquidity injections. Fed officials raised their offerings for overnight repos up from $75 billion to a staggering $120 billion.

This comes on top of the $60 billion per month in Treasury bill purchases that will extend well into next year and possibly beyond. Over the past month alone, the Fed’s balance sheet has soared by $200 billion.

You might think numbers like these should be quite alarming to investors and to anyone who holds U.S. dollars. But the strange thing about these Fed interventions is that hardly anyone seems alarmed. There’s no sense of rising risk being priced into the stock market. And the mainstream media is barely even mentioning these massive transfers of paper wealth.

Perhaps after multiple rounds of Quantitative Easing over the past decade, this latest spate of money printing is just part of the new normal. But we remain concerned that something very abnormal could be unfolding.

At the very least, there is a persistent liquidity shortage in overnight lending markets. And Fed officials obviously feared that it could cause the banking system to freeze up and money market funds to fail.

We don’t yet have all the answers as to what’s really going on in the bowels of these institutional markets, but we will continue to question the line the Fed is putting out. When these repo market interventions were first announced, our research team here at Money Metals, as well as our recent guest experts on this podcast, immediately suspected a new Quantitative Easing program was beginning.

Now, despite the Fed chairman Jerome Powell’s repeated denials, it’s pretty apparent we were right.

It is indeed QE, and we can only guess as to how much bigger it will get in the weeks to come. In fact, it’s looking more and more like “QE4ever.” Fed money printing certainly does carry implications for higher rates of price inflation down the road in the real economy.

The inflationary effects of previous QEs were largely absorbed by capital markets and stunted by relative weakness in the economy. This time around the Fed’s balance sheet surge is starting with the stock market at extremely elevated levels and many conventional economic indicators coming in strong.

We wouldn’t be surprised if precious metals markets soon begin to reflect rising inflation risk.

This week gold and silver markets showed signs of moving toward an upside breakout. On Thursday, gold prices rallied above the $1,500 level while silver rallied up to its 50-day moving average.

Looking ahead to next week, metals investors will await the Fed’s decision on interest rates at its policy meeting. Fed policymakers appear likely to roll out another rate cut. It will come on top of all their other recent liquidity injections.

The risk for gold and silver markets is that Wall Street celebrates by pushing the stock market to a record high. If that happens, it could temporarily quell buying interest in the metals. But it won’t necessarily trigger any kind of big sell-off. A rising sea of liquidity does ultimately tend to lift all boats.

Precious metals markets have performed well overall this year on the heels of major multi-year breakouts. The consolidation phase over the past few weeks in no way undermines those breakouts or their longer-term bullish implications.

Looking ahead to next year, we can expect a very polarized and at times very nasty political campaign to begin moving markets once it’s clear who the Democrat nominee will be. Right now the momentum within the radicalized Democrat voter base is behind Elizabeth Warren.

Given Warren’s plans to jack up taxes and break up large American companies, some on Wall Street fear a Warren victory would crash the stock market by 20% or more.

One of Warren’s signature campaign promises is to impose a “wealth tax.” It would introduce a dangerous new concept into the tax code – namely that the government gets to tax not just capital gains on investments, but also the market value of investments and other household assets taken together.

A wealth tax would force you to account for the value of all your assets – from your financial accounts to your home, your car, your personal possessions, and your gold coins.

Under current law, gold and silver coins generate no tax liabilities or reporting requirements until they are sold. Under a wealth tax, gold coins and other tangible assets in your possession could get an annual scalping by the government.

Regardless of whether such a proposal ever gets enshrined into law, and regardless of who wins next year’s election, the government will be looking for new ways to raise revenues as budget deficits expand. One way to hedge against a Warren wealth tax or a Biden capital gains tax hike is by moving assets into a tax-sheltered IRA.

The government can’t tax IRA assets, including IRA-eligible physical precious metals products, until you take distributions. And with a Roth IRA, you may be able to avoid taxes completely – even as tax risks and inflation risks rise.

Mike Gleason is a Director with Money Metals Exchange, a national precious metals dealer with over 50,000 customers. Gleason is a hard money advocate and a strong proponent of personal liberty, limited government and the Austrian School of Economics. A graduate of the University of Florida, Gleason has extensive experience in management, sales and logistics as well as precious metals investing. He also puts his longtime broadcasting background to good use, hosting a weekly precious metals podcast since 2011, a program listened to by tens of thousands each week.

Killing al-Baghdadi won’t change US role in creation of Daesh Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

he US administration in Washington is to blame for the proliferation of Daesh and other terrorist groups in the Middle East and killing Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi doesn’t change this fact, say an American analyst.

Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com, said the US has been trying to “weaponize” such Takfiri outfits against countries opposing the US establishment in the region, says an American political analyst in Virginia.

HE made the remark in a phone interview with Press TV on Sunday while commenting on a special operations raid carried out by the US military in the Syrian province of Idlib, which killed Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — the leader of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.

The Joint Special Operations Command carried out the top-secret operation after receiving actionable intelligence, according to US military sources, and two Baghdadi’s wives were also killed in the raid.

PressTV-Daesh chief targeted, US claims

PressTV-Daesh chief targeted, US claimsThe United States military has conducted a special operations raid against Daesh Takfiri leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Newsweek reports.

“While it’s certainly true that the United States may have been responsible for the killing of the leader of the Daesh just like they were responsible for the killing of [Taliban militant group leader] Osama bin Laden some years back, we also have to consider the ways in which the United States has been responsible for the proliferation of these Takfiri terrorist organizations,” Preston said.

“The United States has claimed now for 18 years that they are waging war against these terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda, like al-Nusra Front, like the Daesh. At the same time, the United States has also tried to work both ends against the middle when it comes to these kinds of organizations. On the one hand, they are opposed to terrorist attacks by these kinds of groups against American targets in case they are American allies, but they also try to weaponize these organizations against America’s geopolitical rivals in the Middle East,” he added.

The American political commentator said Washington tries to “use the Daesh as a weapon against Syria, against Iran, against other forces that are opposed to the United States in the region as well. The United States, on the one hand, wages its own war against some of these organizations, and on the other hand, gives them a free hand when it comes to its effort to use them as a weapon against other parties in the region.”

Preston also blamed the United States for its role in providing support to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates and other nations in the region that spread this Takfiri ideology that builds these terrorist groups.

“So, it’s not like the US has been the white hat in this particular conflict,” he concluded.

PressTV-Trump: Al-Baghdadi blew himself up, died 'like a dog'

PressTV-Trump: Al-Baghdadi blew himself up, died ‘like a dog’President Trump says Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi “died like a dog” after blowing himself and three children up inside a tunnel.

The Idlib operation was conducted only a few weeks after Trump announced that the US would be withdrawing its forces from northeastern Syria, clearing the path for an expected Turkish incursion into the region.

Turkey launched the offensive on October 9 with the aim of purging the northeastern Syrian regions near its border of US-backed Kurdish militants, whom it views as terrorists linked to local autonomy-seeking militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Trump, later however, rowed back on the withdrawal decision, announcing that a contingent of US Special Forces would remain in Syria to control its oil fields.

US forces entering Iraq from Syria seek to foment civil unrest Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

There is growing concern that US forces that have entered Iraq after retreating from northern Syria seek to destabilize the country and foment civil unrest, says an American political analyst.

Iraq on Wednesday rejected any long-term presence of US troops in his country after their withdrawal from neighboring Syria. Baghdad said American forces crossing into Iraq could only be there in transit.

“it’s not surprising that the government of Iraq would make a decision not wanting American troops to be positioned within Iraq,” said Keith Preston, chief editor of AttacktheSystem.com.

“We have to consider that the United States invaded Iraq in 2003 and there was a very bloody war took place…so the Iraqis certainly are not anxious to have American troops return to Iraq,” Preston told Press TV on Thursday.

“Also there’s been civil unrest in Iraq in recent times; there may be concerns that the Americans may try to foment civil unrest within Iraq because of the fact that the Iraqi government has moved closer to Iran,” he added.

PressTV-US forces leaving Syria not allowed to stay in Iraq: PM

PressTV-US forces leaving Syria not allowed to stay in Iraq: PMIraq’s Abdul-Mahdi says American forces withdrawing from Syria don’t have permission to stay in his country and Baghdad is taking legal action to address the issue.

US forces have been deeply unpopular in much of Iraq since their 2003-2011 occupation of the country.

Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi said after a meeting with visiting US Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday that the American forces were not allowed to remain in Iraq and his government was taking “all international legal measures” to address the issue.

“We have (already) issued an official statement saying that, and we are taking all international legal measures. We ask the international community and the United Nations to perform their roles in this matter,” he said.

He asserted that any foreign troop presence on Iraqi soil must be authorized by the government first and should end upon Baghdad’s request.

Esper had initially told reporters that troops leaving Syria would go to western Iraq for further operations against scattered Daesh terrorists and “help defend Iraq”. But he backtracked on Tuesday, saying Washington aimed to eventually bring the troops home.

In a major U-turn in the US military policy, the White House announced on October 6 that the US would be withdrawing its forces from northeastern Syria, clearing the path for an expected Turkish incursion into the region.

Three days later, Turkey launched the offensive with the aim of purging the northern Syrian regions near its border of US-backed Kurdish militants, whom it views as terrorists linked to local autonomy-seeking militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The Nintendo Mennonite 2

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

I hate technology, dearest motherfuckers. Few things drive me balls deep into the red faster than technology and it just keeps getting worse with every new iPhone they pump out. Everywhere I go, everyone I see is surgically attached to those stupid fucking devices, hemming away at the flickering idiot boxes that only those jackals in Silicon Valley would be dense enough to call smartphones, as they meander aimlessly into oncoming traffic like lambs to the slaughter, or sit down to a romantic candlelight dinner only to spend the evening gazing listlessly into two separate articles on two separate Kardashians while their food gets colder than their marriage. I feel like a crotchety old grandmother bitching like this but I simply can’t shake the feeling that this is what those old Hindu mystics meant when they spoke of the Kali Yuga. If this is humanity at the pinnacle of progress, then progress is clearly a disease deadlier than cancer.

These days we have computers that talk, listen, fuck, watch us while we shit and report our bathroom habits back to any number of nefarious corporate and/or government perverts. Everyone knows this and nobody fucking cares. Edward Snowden is condemned to spend the rest of his life sweating vodka in some Brezhnev-era tower too cold for roaches while Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange slowly decompose in federal custody and nobody fucking cares. Everyone seems just peachy fucking keen with their flashy new digital prison cells as long as the Wi-Fi works. Now the computers can think and it wont be long before they realize they don’t need our lazy asses crowding their space.

It’s times like these that I almost envy my Amish neighbors out here in Central Pennsylvania. Sure they smell like shit and work themselves fucking stupid but they took a stand sometime in the mid-Nineteenth Century after deciding that they had exactly enough technology and they weren’t going to poison their community with anymore just for the sake of convenience. And for the most part they stuck to it. They stood their ground and they’re still standing. While the rest of us enjoy the crippling stress and isolation of progress with its mass shootings, reality television and nervous breakdowns, the Amish are doing just fine living like it’s 1869, and unlike their ideological nephew Theodore Kaczynski, they didn’t have to muddy their souls with a single bomb to do it. They simply dropped out of the bullshit and went their own way. I may be a gender-bending Yippie sex freak but it was my Amish neighbors that gave me my first lessons on the virtues of anarchism.

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US using Turks as de facto mercenaries in Syria Reply

The United States is using “the Turks as de facto mercenaries” in Syria in order to continue Washington’s destabilization effort in the war-torn country, an analyst says. Keith Preston made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday when asked about US President Donald Trump who had defended his decision to pull American forces out of northern Syria.

Screwing Over the Kurds: An All-American Pastime Reply

By Nicky Reid aka Comrade Hermit

Exile in Happy Valley

I have long been a vocal supporter of the Kurds, even before the Syrian clusterfuck sparked the Rojava Revolution. Part of this comes from my checkered past as a lapsed Tankie-Guevarist. I grew up gorging myself on New Left folk tails of Third World rebellion. The fearsome PKK were one of a dozen or so clans of crimson bearded renegades, fighting like Castro for some post-colonial utopia. I read everything I could find about the Bolshevik adventures of groups like FARC, Hezbollah and the Naxalites. But the thing that set the Kurds apart was their fourth quarter conversion to anarchism which closely mirrored my own.

Abdullah Ocalan discovered the works of Murray Bookchin right around the time I dropped communism for panarchy and syndicalism. And when the wrest of Syria sunk into CIA sponsored Salafi hell, the Ocalan influenced Kurds of the YPG created a successful stateless society that flourished amidst the chaos. It was proof positive that anarchism could work. But it was all over the moment the YPG accepted the poison gift of American military occupation. Anarchism quite simply cannot coexist with the greatest source of imperial tyranny on the fucking planet. The only sick comfort I took in this nauseating arrangement is that I knew it wouldn’t last. That’s because, dearest motherfuckers, screwing over the Kurds is a time-honored American pastime.

The original Kurdish screwjob was the work of that whimsical Bond villain known as Henry Kissinger. During his busy time as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser under Nixon and Ford, respectively, Henry cooked up a devilish little scheme with the help of his flunkies in Israel and the Shah’s Iran. Iraq was becoming suspiciously cozy with the Soviet Union. So they flooded Iraq’s long suffering Kurdish independence movement with Soviet hardware pilfered from the killing fields of Vietnam and the Sinai Peninsula. Mustafa Barzani, the founding father of the modern Peshmerga, didn’t trust the Shah farther than he could squeeze his ham-fist up his pinched little quisling asshole, no sane Mesopotamian did, but he believed in his heart of hearts that America was that shining beacon of freedom on the hill. Mustafa was a sucker. Once Henry and Co. managed to frighten Iraq into playing ball, we quickly drummed up a deal between them and Iran that included handing over the Kurds on a spit. Not only did old Henry, that Nobel pacifist, refuse to even return Mustafa’s frantic calls for help, he cut all humanitarian aide to the region as Helter Skelter came tumbling down. The Kurds were slaughtered and Kissinger summed up America’s Kurdish policy in a nutshell when he told a disgusted congress that “One should not confuse undercover action with social work.” If only the Kurds took his advice.

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US, Saudi, Israel seeking to hijack Iraq protests Reply

Press TV. Listen here.

The United States and its key allies in the Middle East are trying to find a way to “hijack” protests in Iraq in an attempt to influence its foreign policy, says an American analyst.

Washington does not like Iraq’s current role in the regional “resistance axis” that is countering Israeli and Saudi aggression, Keith Preston, director of attackthesystem.com, told Press TV’s “The Debate” program.

“I think much of the difficulty that Iraq is experiencing today is largely rooted in the policies that the United States has pursued towards Iraq for quite some time,” he said.

“We’d have to consider the lasting impact of not only the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the destabilization of Iraq that happened as a result,” but the fact that the US also propped up the regime of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussain, Preston added.

Washington’s policies also destroyed Iraq’s industrial effectively, “turning what was once one of the most advanced nations in the Middle East to a pre-industrial state,” the analyst argued.

America’s support for Takfiri groups that first overtook parts of Syria and then proceeded to override neighboring Iraq is also a reason for current problems, said Preston.

PressTV-Iraq: All evidence points to 'malicious hands' in unrest

PressTV-Iraq: All evidence points to ‘malicious hands’ in unrestOfficials in Baghdad blame “malicious hands” for the killing of both protesters and security forces during the latest bout of unrest that gripped the capital and some other cities. 

He said there is no denying that the Iraqi government is partially responsible for some of the shortcomings in people’s lives.

However, he argued, it is only natural to expect the West to try and “hijack” the protests in Iraq for its own benefit, just as it is doing with protests in Hong Kong and France.

“American foreign policy has not been happy with the course that the Iraqi government has taken in recent years,” he said.

Noting that the Americans are unhappy with Iraq’s close ties to Iran, Preston said: “They don’t like the fact that Iraq is largely part of the wider axis of resistance against Saudi influence in the region as well.”

That is why the US and its regional allies, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, see the protests as an opportunity to destabilize Iraq.

The other panelist, Brian Downing, who is an independent national security analyst based in Florida, said Saudi Arabia would use Iraq as a way to take attention away from its failures in Yemen in an attempt to repair its image.

Downing said while US policies also played a role in Iraq’s current situation, most of the blame should go to the Iraqi elite for failing to “evenly distribute” the country’s large oil income.

An issue of demographics is also at play, with Iraq’s large population of youths in their 20s desiring a better life and a better future, he added.