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President Trump is About to get Everything he Wants in Iraq

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Go ahead, twist Trump’s arm. – The Associated Press reports today that Iraq’s prime minister, Adel Abdul-Mahdi, has formally asked the Trump Administration to begin making preparations for withdrawal of U.S. troops from that country.

From the AP story:

The request came in a telephone call Thursday night between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi, a statement from his office said. He also told Pompeo that recent U.S. strikes in Iraq were an unacceptable breach of Iraqi sovereignty and a violation of the two countries’ security agreements.

He asked Pompeo to “send delegates to Iraq to prepare a mechanism to carry out the parliament’s resolution regarding the withdrawal of foreign troops from Iraq,” according to the statement.

“The prime minister said American forces had entered Iraq and drones are flying in its airspace without permission from Iraqi authorities, and this was a violation of the bilateral agreements,” the statement added.

The Democrats and their toadies in the corrupt U.S. news media will no doubt attempt to portray this as some sort of blow to the Trump Administration for the simple fact that none of them have ever made any effort to really understand the President’s actual goals related to Iraq and the Middle East in general.

One more time for anyone who is still not clear on this: One of the main reasons why Donald Trump won the 2016 election was his promise – his repeated, unambiguous promise – to get the U.S. military presence out of all the various Middle East and North African conflicts into which his two immediate predecessors had entangled our country. This President – unlike those two predecessors in office – is a man who is focused on keeping his promises.

This really is not complicated at all.

So, while all the Usual Suspect warmongers in congress like Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio will scream bloody murder, along with some of the President’s top advisors, President Trump will very likely be quite pleased to grant Abdul-Mahdi’s request. The Democrats and corrupt news media who have been blasting the President as a warmonger over his completely justified killing of Iranian terrorist leader Qassem Soleimani will then turn on a dime and blast him for being naive and rash in deciding to end the U.S.’s 17-year military engagement in Iraq.

At the end of the day, the President stands to achieve every one of his goals related to both Iraq and Iran in just a couple of short weeks, and also to set the stage for a full withdrawal of U.S. military personnel from America’s 18-year engagement in Afghanistan and 5-year engagement in Syria.

This is what Donald Trump was elected to do. It’s amazing how utterly incapable his opponents and critics are of learning that simple reality.

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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READ: the U.S. Army Letter Notifying Iraq of Coalition Withdrawal – UPDATED

Today’s Campaign Update, Part III
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Today, President Donald Trump called the Iraqi government’s bluff, authorizing the commanding general of joint coalition forces in Iraq to send a formal letter to the Iraqi commanding officer notifying him of pending operations for coalition forces to depart from Iraq. This comes in the wake of the vote of the Iraqi parliament over the weekend to demand U.S. forces leave the region.

Here is a photo of the letter that is circulating on social media:

Image

Text:

sLTG Abu Amir
Deputy Director, Combined Joint Operations,Baghdad
Iraq-Ministry of Defense

 

Sir: In due deference to the sovereignty of the Republic of Iraq, and as requested by the Iraqi parliament and Prime Minister, CTJF-OIR will be repositioning forces over the coming days and weeks to prepare for onward movement.

In order to conduct this task, Coalition Forces are required to take certain measures to ensure that the movement out of Iraq is conducted in a safe and efficient manner.

During this time, there will be an increase in helicopter travel in and around the International Zone (IZ) of Baghdad. This increased traffic will include CH-47, UH-60 and AH-64 security escort helicopters.

Coalition forces will take appropriate measures to minimize and mitigate the disturbance to the public. In addition, we will conduct these operations during hours of darkness to help alleviate any perception that we may be bringing more coalition forces into the IZ.

As we begin implementing this next phase of operations, I want to reiterate the value of our friendship and partnership. We respect your sovereign decision to order our departure.

Very respectfully,

 

WILLIAM H. SEELY, III
Brigadier General, U.S. Marine Corps
Commanding General, TF-Iraq

[End]

As we have repeatedly pointed out here at the Campaign Update, one of the main reasons why Donald J. Trump was elected to the presidency in 2016 was his promise to get U.S. armed forces personnel out of the myriad interminable Middle East conflicts into which his predecessors in office had gotten our country entangled.

Trump’s basic message during the campaign was that these wars between various Islamic countries and factions have been going on for eons, and nothing the U.S. can do – no amount of treasure or lives sacrificed – will end that reality. So, let the Islamic states in the region fight it out amongst themselves, and focus U.S. military efforts in the Middle East on protecting our assets and few real allies there – Israel and Saudi Arabia, mainly.

The Iraqi parliament’s demand over the weekend, whether serious or not, plays directly into the President’s hands in this regard.

It is also key to note that this strategic gambit would not be possible were it not for the fact that the U.S. today enjoys a much higher level of energy security than it did during past presidencies, thanks mainly to the shale oil and gas revolution that has taken place here over the past decade. The U.S. is not completely energy “independent” and probably never will be, but our country today has very little compelling national interest in risking American lives and treasure to keep the oil spigots in countries like Iran and Iraq open.

So, this letter from Brig. General Seely now puts the ball squarely back in the Iraqi government’s court. President Trump has basically said, hey, if you want to become a client state of the mullahs in Iran, go for it.

It will be interesting to see how Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abd Al-Mahdi responds.

UPDATE: Well, maybe it’s not quite goodbye after all. Here is an official Pentagon statement on the matter:

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Dilley earlier stated that the letter is real, but the version released on social media is a “draft” that should not have gotten out. Prior to that Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that the letter was not real.

Did someone just get caught in a mole hunt?

I will update this story if the official version keeps changing.

 

That is all. For now.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Qassem Soleimani, the IRGC, and why the “General” had to die

Today’s Campaign Update
(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

[Note: I received the following insights over the weekend from the same veteran who has contributed here previously. It is fairly long, but well worth the read if you want to really understand why Soleimani’s killing was not only justified, but essentially mandatory for any U.S. President interested in doing his job properly.  I have added some bolding for emphasis.]

From: A Veteran with 20+ years of service, a Naval Aviator who flew combat missions in Iraq, and had 15+ years in counter-terrorism.  Also served as a flight instructor at NAS Pensacola. 

Over the past several days, I’ve watched the Network News and various news outlets struggle with the reporting on the death of Iranian General Qassem Soleimani (IRCG, Quds Commander).  While it has been infuriating watching Democrats from the media through presidential candidates lament the death of the world’s leading terrorist, much of that is born of ignorance to the region and simply not knowing who Qassem Soleimani was or what he was responsible for.

Some CRITICAL background information needed to understand what is going on with regard this termination.

All middle east discussions have to start with viewing of conflicts based not on borders or nations, but primarily as Sunni or Shia.  If you have 9 minutes to start an understanding on middle-east issues, the video linked here is a must-watch

If you don’t have 9 minutes, the Cliff’s notes are thus:

After Muhammad died, Islam split based on who they thought should rule.  Sunni Muslims thought that direct descendants of Muhammad should rule the Islamic World.  Shiite (Shia) Muslims think that Islam should be led by Clerics.  Much in the way that Christianity fought centuries of wars from the middle of the 1400’s with the Hussite Rebellion in the Czech Republic (the first sparks of Protestantism) through the 30 years war (ending in 1648) against itself…Islam has never had an equivalent of the Peace of Westphalia, and the rival sects have killed millions of each other in Allah’s name over the centuries. Islamic Empires (and now nations) have very rarely fought a secular war.  It is either Jihad for expansion  (the last one of those ended Sept 11th, 1683 in Vienna) or against Israel (the Great Satan), or an effort to impose their brand of Islam on others.

When applying the Sunni/Shia split to Iran, that nation is virtually exclusive Shia, as reflected in their Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.  The first portion of that name, “Ali” is a title that infers his position as the head of Shiite Islam.  While Iran has an elected President and other houses of Government, as an Islamic Theocracy, Ali Khamenei’s position supersedes all elected officials, and he is also the head cleric of a large portion of the Islamic world.

This religious position is critical for Iranian influence around the world, as Shia Muslims outside of Iran will typically have primary allegiance to Ali over any local government.  Additionally, the punishments for denial of this authority are well beyond a fine or prison time.  Refusal to submit to the authority of Ali is often punished as apostasy which carries the penalty of death.  Briefly imagine the complexities of being an Iraqi Police Commander and your force is a mix of Sunni and Shia police officers.

So, what is the IRGC, and the Quds Force, and why did Qassem Soleimani need to die?

Just as we have covered that Iran has a secular style of government and a religious government, it also has parallel military forces.  Iran maintains a “regular” Army, Navy, and Air Force that are organized along standard structures.  Parallel to these forces, Iran also maintains the IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps) which follows only the orders of Ali Khamenei.  The IRGC’s mission is essentially in its name: It Guards the Revolution, and that revolution was to make Shia Islam the ruling force of Iran (when the Shah was deposed) and spread that influence across the globe.

The IRGC has components that mirror Army, Navy, Special Forces, and Intelligence structures.  When you hear talking heads on TV say things like “Iran is behind this” or “Iranian backed rebels,” they are talking about influence that is exported via the IRGC, specifically the Quds force which was led by Qassem Soleimani.

When Americans think of famous terrorists, the first to come to mind is Usama Bin Laden.  While UBL’s name came to prominence after the September 11th attacks until his ultimate demise, the reach and resources of Al Qaeda paled in comparison to what Iran has done over the past 40+ years.

Over the last two decades, every terrorist action or Shiite Rebel Campaign has come at the direction of Qassem Soleimani.

There has been the data point that Soleimani was responsible for the deaths of 603 American troops in Iraq. While this is true, it is an incredibly small line item in the overall bill that we owed Soleimani as that number was due to a specific munition that was traced to Iran and the IRGC.

The broader truth is that Iran used the IRGC Quds force as their focal point for exerting Shia influence in Iraq since the U.S. removal of Saddam Hussein.  10+ years of insurgency and interference with the best chance Democracy has ever had in the middle east were led by Qassem Soleimani.  Oh, and all of the conflicts in Lebanon, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Gaza are his responsibility as well.

To understand just how important Qassem Soleimani is, consider that his responsibilities are essentially the same as our: Head of CIA, Head of Secret Service, Secretary of Defense, Secretary of State, and 4 Star SOCOM Commander.  An absurd claim by the media was that Soleimani was our “ally against ISIS”.  It is true that Shia militias backed by the IRGC fought against ISIS (which was Sunni).  At no point did the United States ever ally ourselves with the IRGC or Qassem Soleimani.  The better analogy is that Iran is Shia version of ISIS, they just have control of a nation and international standing (by virtue of their revolution, allowed by Jimmy Carter) and ISIS’ territory and government never gained international recognition…and Trump crushed ISIS.

Why did he have to die?

This is the question that the mainstream media has been tripping over themselves in failed attempts to answer.

His record of deploying weapons to insurgents to use against US Troops is enough to warrant his death sentence for any reasonable person.  The balance of his list of war crimes and crimes against humanity should be enough to remove any doubt.

What finally got him terminated was the brazen attack on the US Embassy in Baghdad last week.  It is frankly shocking that a man in this position felt comfortable moving freely about Iraq and directing this attack personally.  It is stupefying that US Media outlets covered that attack as “mourners” marching on the embassy.  Some of them probably still believe that the attack in Benghazi was because of a youtube video.  President Trump had previously warned Iran after they shot down a drone that they would bear an extreme price if they “shot at anything American” again.

In this case, all of the diplomatic finger pointing was skipped.  There was no trial in the media or on the floor of the UN where we produced pictures of the General at the Airport and made a case to the international community.  The trial phase took place in a SCIF, and Soleimani’s sentence was delivered by the red-button of a REAPER operator watching the cross hairs on his FLIR display.  That poor pilot didn’t even get to hear the “woosh” of the weapon leaving the rail.

Iran has announced that they are going to have “Three Days of Mourning”.  I personally think that translates to “Give us 72 hours to try and figure out just how badly we have screwed up.”  I don’t have any bold predictions on how Iran will respond, if at all.

Certainly, there will be bluster.  Senator Lindsey Graham has already mentioned just how easily Iran could be put out of the Oil Business.  My friends in Naval Aviation assure me that can happen in a day.  I do not think the Iranian leadership can survive much longer if economics don’t change.

The ball is squarely in Iran’s court at this point.  President Trump made it clear that he prefers to negotiate, and this week’s actions show that he is a man of his word, and he won’t hesitate to “whack a made man”.  Iran’s regular military should be respected, but not feared.  If Iran chooses to attack a capital asset like a Navy Warship or launch missile attack against a Saudi Airbase, the response would be overwhelming.

We’ll see.

[End]

That is all.

 

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Soledad O’Brien Personifies the Media’s All-Consuming Hubris

Today’s Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

Soledad O’Brien: News Faker of the Week! – Soledad O’Brien, who learned the fake news trade at MSNBC and CNN and now does some sort of syndicated talk show, got on her Twitter feed yesterday to join D-list actress Alyssa Milano in bashing President Donald Trump for not visiting U.S. troops overseas over the holidays.

When former Fox News host Brit Hume pointed out that, by the time Milano had tweeted out her insult, the President and First Lady Melania Trump were already in Iraq preparing to visit the troops there, the hubris-addled O’Brien replied by saying, “Shaming him seems to work.”

Think of how demented a person must be to believe that, because she and her fake media pals started criticizing him over the weekend for presumably not visiting troops, the President of the United States of America dropped everything he was doing, jumped on Air Force One and took off for Iraq. It is the definition of unbridled hubris.

As Dan Bongino pointed out yesterday evening, Presidential trips overseas are logistical nightmares.  They cannot be done on the spur of the moment, simply because a president gets upset about bad news reports and wants to make it stop. These things must be planned weeks in advance, with every moment of the president’s time accounted for, allowing time for the Secret Service to set up appropriate security at every stop along the way.

Despite the petulantly-negative media coverage – because of course it was negative – the President and First Lady received overwhelmingly enthusiastic receptions from troops in Iraq and later in Germany. Here are some photos:

One more thing: Melania Trump became the first First Lady to visit troops overseas since Laura Bush made the trip in 2005. You won’t see Soledad or Alyssa making any positive tweets about that little fact, because hey, Michelle might be watching.

After all, you never saw any of them holding “Hopey Changey” hats when Obama visited. – CNN’s big outrage story related to the POTUS/First Lady’s visit to Iraq was about all the troops who showed up with red MAGA caps. CNN’s crack legal team has decided that the President’s signing of several of them puts the soldiers in violation of military regulations, because of course CNN is going to say that.

Oh, and the media also criticized Melania for wearing Timberland boots during the trip. I kid you not.

*sigh*

That time when Morning Joe pretended to channel Jesus Christ:

Ocasio-Cortez Update:

For the record, Mary, Joseph and their baby were not “refugees” in any sense of that word. They in fact traveled to Bethlehem in order to register for the Roman census. But in the fantasy world that Ms. Cortez occupies, there is no such thing as “truth.” Which, come to think of it, just makes her your common, every day socialist. Nothing special at all.

When is 42% reported as 5.1%? When the U.S. media is reporting it! – The Wall Street Journal published a piece celebrating strong U.S. consumer spending around this Christmas season.  Here’s a quote:

Shoppers delivered the strongest holiday sales increase for U.S. retailers in six years, according to early data.  Total U.S. retail sales, excluding automobiles, rose 5.1% between Nov. 1 and Dec. 24 from a year earlier, according to Mastercard SpendingPulse, which tracks both online and in-store spending with all forms of payment. Overall, U.S. consumers spent over $850 billion this holiday season, according to Mastercard.

The Wall Street Journal owes its readers an explanation.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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Today Was a Breathtaking Display of the Democrats’ and Media’s Rank Hypocrisy

The Evening Campaign Update

(Because The Campaign Never Ends)

In 2003, after it had become apparent that the U.S. and allied forces who had invaded Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein were not going to find the vaunted weapons of mass destruction that served as the pretense for justifying the invasion, the fake U.S. and international news media, in coordination with the Democrat Party, demonized the U.S. intelligence community for its apparent failure to properly assess the threat.  The employees and leaders of the CIA, DIA, FBI, NSA and all the myriad other alphabet agencies that make up the U.S. intel apparatus were called incompetent, deceptive, even traitors by the fake media/Democrat propaganda complex for leading our country into an unjustified war.

Of course, no apologies were forthcoming when it later became obvious that Saddam had indeed had a stockpile of WMDs that he spirited off to Syria in advance of the allied invasion.  The left never apologizes for anything since no one in the fake news media ever demands it of them.

Those of us who defended the intel community at the time were also called all sorts of names, including but not limited to “traitors”, by these same Democrats and their media agents.  Fifteen years later, many of us are old enough to still remember all of that.

So it was a bit of a marvel today to see the fake news media/Democrat propaganda complex – including many of the same players from 2003 – demonize not the U.S. intel community, but President Donald Trump and his supporters after Trump criticized those myriad alphabet agencies during his press conference with Vladimir Putin.  In 2003, we were all traitors if we didn’t condemn the U.S. intel community, and today we’re all traitors if we do criticize them.

And this is all about Russia.  Many of us are also old enough to remember way back in 2012, when Barack Obama snarkily told Mitt Romney during a debate that “The 1980s called and they want their foreign policy back.”  That was Obama’s response to Romney’s contention that Russia constituted one of America’s foremost foreign adversaries.

Wait, isn’t that what the Democrats are all screaming today?  I know, right?

Yes, it is, but this was in 2012, barely a year after Obama, Hillary, Comey and Mueller had all participated in the selling of 20% of America’s uranium reserves to a Russian company that was just a front for Vladimir Putin, so the Democrats in those days felt the need to pretend we have no issues with Russia.  Six years later, they know that Putin knows everything about what happened back then and during the 2016 elections, and now feel desperate to de-legitimize him in the public’s mind in case he starts talking.

So now Putin and Russia are almost our awfulest, worstest enemies in the current media/Democrat talking point manual, just below President Trump, who is in fact our premier awfulest, worstest enemy.  Because President Trump also knows everything about what happened back then and during the 2016 elections, and well, he’s the President of the United States and will presumably at some point demand that Jeff Sessions and the Justice Department do something about it.  Make sense?

So, when President Trump said in the press conference that Putin made a “forceful” denial of Russian intervention in those 2016 elections, that is suddenly the worst thing that’s ever, ever, ever happened in all of American history going back to Columbus.

But hey, it was no big deal at all when Barack Obama, after meeting with Putin in 2016 and raising the subject of meddling with him, said of Putin’s denials that “He denies it. So the idea that somehow public shaming is gonna be effective, I think doesn’t read the thought process in Russia very well.”  Because back in 2016, all the fake reporters and Democrats assumed Hillary Clinton was going to win the election and whatever really did take place would just all be swept under the rug anyway.

But now it’s 2018 and Vladimir Putin knows everything that happened and Donald Trump knows everything that happened, and the fake reporters who helped facilitate it all and the Democrats who participated in it all are utterly, completely panicked and lashing out like never before.

And so you get tweets like this from Obama CIA Director and longtime communist voter John Brennan:

And this, from former Clinton advisor Peter Dau:

And this from supposedly bed-ridden John McCain, who was complicit in promoting the fake Trump Dossier during the 2016 campaign:

That statement, by the way, is at least 300 words long and was released within an hour after the end of the press conference.  Seems like a man with the energy to fully analyze an hour log press conference and whip out a 300-word statement in real time like that might also have the energy to travel to Washington and do his job.  But I digress.

At any rate, as so often happens, President Trump issued a tweet on this very subject as I was typing this piece.  Here it is:

But as I pointed out this morning, the fake news media, the Democrats and war mongers like Sen. McCain cannot have this “get along” nonsense happen – they all make their livings and control their power through the perpetuation of conflict and civil strife and violence.

Donald Trump is a 72 year-old multi-billionaire who decided to give up his retirement years in order to try to make life better for Americans.  Sometimes, it’s hard to imagine why he bothers.

Just another day in Donald Trump is doing his job for America.

That is all.

Follow me on Twitter at @GDBlackmon

Today’s news moves at a faster pace than ever. Whatfinger.com is my go-to source for keeping up with all the latest events in real time.

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