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Iraqi Communist Party and the protests in Iraq

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Post 01 Dec 2019, 11:46
Interesting article about ICP in Iraq and its alliance with Muqtada al-Sadr in the current protests.

What does everybody think about this? It seems like in Iraq, like in Lebanon, the confessional quota system in politics has failed society. At the same time the Iraqi protests have a very strong geopolitical aspect, with anti-Iranian sentiment, burning of Iranian consulates, etc. Does anyone have a reading of the situation? I have steered far away from politics, but this is an interesting topic. It seems like no one actually has a handle on the situation except maybe al-Sadr and it's unclear what he wants. Overall though it seems like Iraq has become a failed state and this sort of thing was bound to happen as the situation pleases almost no one.
Post 03 Dec 2019, 17:45
Not sure about Iraq, but I don't think of the confessional system in Lebanon to be the sole reason for its current state. Debt, regional politics, war, refugees, a lack of infrastructure and just plain old capitalism are a few of the many possibly insurmountable problems that the country is facing.

Long story short, the problem Lebanon is now facing is divided along a number of lines; between those who don't have much to lose by sinking the country deeper into the ground, and those who do; between the sects who have leaders in power and between the sects who don't.

I read a blog by that woman you sent me where she describes just how difficult life has become because of the protests; all of that is true. The thing is that economic and social difficulties always come with revolutions if any change is to be attained. I guess another way to divide people would be along the lines of those who are willing to sacrifice something for a chance at change, and between those who prefer the slower, less radical route through the ballot box.

I personally would like to see a technocratic government in place for a change, but not at the expense of a civil war breaking out. It should be noted though, that I am one of those who has something to lose.
Post 18 Dec 2019, 06:49
By Any Means Necessary from Sputnik Radio out of Washington D.C. interviews leaders of the Lebanese and Iraqi Communist parties from time to time. Recent interview from the 17th of December 2019.
Post 03 Jan 2020, 13:30
IRGC head Qassem Souleimani was killed by the Americans at Baghdad Intl Airport. Before that, there were attacks by the US against Iran-aligned militias and those militias' protests/attacks against the US embassy in Baghdad. American civilians are asked to evacuate as US troops move in. Looks like everything there is going to shit pretty fast.
Post 03 Jan 2020, 16:47
Allegedly, those who conducted the strike were actually unaware that Soleimani was in that motorcade, which is why it took a while for official US govt statements to be cobbled together.

Beyond initial shock and reaction, i dont expect Iran to do anything rashs, but I could see Iran's militias in Iraq will turn up the heat. Not sure how this will play out, but it will likely put these social issues in the backburner.
Post 08 Jan 2020, 13:31
Things are starting to get pretty messy. I should be panicking right now with so much to lose if total war breaks out between America/Israel on the one side and Iran/Lebanon on the other, but I'm not. On the surface I of course would prefer that there'd be no war and that everything goes back to normal, but at the same time there has to come a point when imperialist powers realise that they can't just go on incessantly bombing poor third world countries without consequences and repercussions.

I'ma stay optimistic and hope that all this ends with the realisation that there's only so much you can bomb without eventually having to resort to peaceful negotiations.

However, if worse really does come to worst and when I think about it on a philosophical level, maybe war between Iran and America is an inevitability that serves to cleanse the earth of those incapable of resolving petty issues politically in service to the betterment of humanity. A 'Hero of Socialist Labour' once said that every generation must know its own suffering. My grandmother endured the entirety of the Great Patriotic War, and has paid the price for a peaceful life ever since. Maybe now it's my turn. I'm going to make my peace and accept with serenity that which I cannot change.

Let it be.

Post 08 Jan 2020, 14:43
I guess there's no real point in posting whatever minute speculation of the moment there is, as it will turn out to be completely inaccurate, but as far as greater trends go, I don't think the two are headed for war. The Iranian strikes on US sites in Iraq seemed very similar to the US strikes on Syrian army sites in Syria last year where there were virtually no casualties or damage, and it was most important to send a message that damage could be done. Same here, there is no meaningful way to retaliate to the strikes. The broader question is whether the US will leave Iraq, and right now it looks like it will because the only real alternative is open warfare.

On the other hand, this really weakened Trump politically in the US: the completely pointless killing of Soleimani and Mohandes greatly weakened the US position in Iraq, and it will have no option but to leave completely. It also weakens him domestically, leaving him with the House of Representatives Democrats seeking to use this to limit his powers and discredit him as the man who lost the Middle East on the one side, and anti-Iran lobbyists like Pompeo egging him on, on the other. It's clear that the Democrats will use this the same way the Republicans used the 1979 Iran crisis against Carter.

So to me it seems like the path of least resistance in Iraq is gradual US exit in a way where no side feels humiliated, but in the US itself it makes sense for the leadership to push for an open conflict, and risk it all or become more unpopular than G.W. Bush. That or completely change policy for more isolationism, which would be popular (in the past 3 elections, the losers - John McCain, Mitt Romney and Hillary Clinton all took much more militaristic/interventionist positions on foreign policy than winners Trump and Obama), but would also probably completely lose support from the elite. Also, as he is not like Bernie Sanders and can't offer any dividends from such a decision to the electorate.

I unfortunately don't know anything about Iran's internal politics, so I don't have any analysis on that.
Post 09 Jan 2020, 00:21
Marshal Konev wrote:
Allegedly, those who conducted the strike were actually unaware that Soleimani was in that motorcade, which is why it took a while for official US govt statements to be cobbled together.

You know it's been almost a week since his assassination, but you're the only one I've heard mention that possibility, yet it seems the most rational. Journalist Max Blumenthal suggested that it's possible that Trump was somehow tricked into the strike by receiving a late-night "urgent warning about intercepting an unnamed top terrorist" that demanded an urgent reply without Soleimani being explicitly named, but who knows. Soleimani wasn't even hiding from the Americans, because he knew his killing would start a shitstorm. Then you have all these contradictory reports in the immediate aftermath from US officials about being tough on Iran while also wanting to "deescalate."

Plus, sources speaking to both WaPo and NYT in what seemed like damage control stories talked about officials being "shocked" after Trump picked the most radical option of killing Soleimani among the "menu" of those presented to him after the Embassy attack. But that sounds like meaningless drivel, because anyone who's watched Yes, Minister realizes how civil servants are known to present options in such a way as a politician picks the one they want.

Also, I really can't believe that there's no one left in the US intelligence services and State Department bureaucracy that doesn't realize that the Quds Force has actually been virtually an ally to the US against real terrorists. Soleimani literally helped the US go after al-Qaeda and the Taliban in 2001. Quds helped Assad and Hezbollah tie down tens of thousands of terrorists in Syria so they couldn't launch dozens more Paris-style attacks all over the world. In Iraq, Soleimani organized those tens of thousands of troops' strong Shia militias that actually did the work on the ground to kick ISIS out of the country.

Overall, this was an extremely disgusting move and the only one that seems to be happy about it is Israel.

Kirov, I hope you're right. The absolute best thing that could come from this is for the US to get kicked the hell out of Iraq once and for all, by diplomatic means.

With regard to Iran's internal politics, I think they realize too that pushing too far might lead to war, and it's clear they don't want that. As you might recall they alleged that when that US drone was shot down over the Strait of Hormuz last summer, there was also a US P-8 spy plane in the vicinity with dozens of US servicemen onboard that they deliberately didn't target. But at the same time, Soleimani was reportedly the second or third most beloved figure in the Islamic Republic as a whole, and was respected even by moderate Iranians because of his role fighting ISIS and assisting what remains the secular nationalist Syrian state. Hence the government knows that they really need to show that America will be 'punished' for this crime somehow, or risk losing face.
Post 09 Jan 2020, 05:14
I'm amazed that I've done pretty much the same analysis as Kirov, but in spanish, without having read his.
Trump might finally try to get his "troop withdrawal" for once and for all. Iraq doesn't want any foreign troops, he said the USA doesn't need middle eastern oil anymore (so why should he "keep the oil" in Syria?), and he's got a chance to show himself as the peace candidate, right before the elections. In his speech he clearly said that USA has the best army in the world, he just doesn't want to use it.

Iran got its chance to avenge Soleimani without escalating the conflict. They actually hit the "most formidable war machine in the world" in the face with complete impunity. But the PMUs didn't get to avenge their leader, hence the last rockets on the green zone. That might be extra pressure from Iraq on the USA to leave.

What I don't buy is that there are no casualties on the USA side. Maybe not 80 dead, as the iranian media says, nor 242 as some unconfirmed tweets claim. But someone might have been hurt or killed. The photos are very clear that those places that were striked, recieved very heavy damage. Not only Senator Graham was quite willing to chat with the iranians the following morning, and just a few minutes ago, Reuters says that in a letter to the U.N. Security Council, U.S. Ambassador Kelly Craft said the United States also stands "ready to engage without preconditions in serious negotiations with Iran, with the goal of preventing further endangerment of international peace and security or escalation by the Iranian regime." This is too friendly from someone who is supposed to walk out unscratched from a rain of missiles.
Post 09 Jan 2020, 07:09
I'm no weapons expert but to me it seems like cruise missiles, unless they're used against particular targets like ships or carry something very powerful like nuclear weapons, are more of a propaganda weapon than something practical. They look very cool at launch and it's impressive that they are hard to intercept so they will definitely reach their targets, but the damage they do is minimal, so you need like $100 million of them to destroy a building. So whenever a country launches a bunch of them, it's more of a message that it has the technology and resources to go after you and that it doesn't care about the financial cost, than a way to inflict pain, which is easier with drones or artillery, both of which Iran can do. So most often I think they're used for this sort of psychological deterrence.

In that sense it's possible that someone was killed or injured but not very likely, as the Iranians gave warning ahead of time to the Iraqis, just like Americans gave warning ahead of time to Russians before bombing the Syrian base with cruise missiles in 2018. But it also doesn't matter, they're not going to start a huge regional war because someone was killed if precautions were taken.
Post 09 Jan 2020, 16:22
If there were causalities in the missile strike, they likely might be mercenaries and not official army personnel, affording Trump some plausible deniability.

Anyway, the strikes certainly did deliver the message or Iran's ability to precisely target assets in Iraq without meriting further retaliation, and US presence in Iraq will be tenuous and insecure. I agree, those missiles were, as you described, purely for psychological deterrence. Both countries got to declare some propaganda victory, allowing tensions to be defused temporarily.

However, unless Iran and allies continue a slow boiling pressure, I dont see the US actually leaving Iraq. Turkey and Qatar have become less reliable allies, so the US will likely want to keep Iraq as an alternative logistical base for any future power projection in the region. The US military industrial complex would not have it any other way.
Post 10 Jan 2020, 13:32
My condolences to all the people who have already died as a result of this escalation, including the people trampled at Soleimani's funeral, and the Iranians, Canadians and Ukrainians who perished in that deadly air crash on January 8.

Also, regarding those missile attacks in Iraq, its been reported that Iran gave Iraq several hours notice to get out of the way before launching the strikes, again confirming their lack of desire for war in my mind. Obviously the Iraqis would have informed the US, who formally remain their allies at this point. Reminds me of the failed Western strikes on Syria, were Russia was reportedly informed an hour or so ahead of time, giving them time to inform the Syrians.

Also, not saying these things are connected yet, but frag Russia's traitorous pro-Zionist wing/lobby inside the Kremlin and the rest of the government. I hope they all burn in hell. This would never happen in Soviet days: ... nian-codes
Post 10 Jan 2020, 17:01
Yeah, sad what happened to that plane. I think it probably was accidentally shot down; some things are just too much of a coincidence not to be connected. Only question for me remains is if there was any malice involved. In any case, we'll probably never get the full picture, just like with the other plane that was shot down over the Donbass.

It just really sucks that innocent bystanders have to pay such a price because fuсking fаggot politicians can't get their shit together. I'm pissed man; and to think that I had actually sighed a breath of relief after Trump's speech because it lacked bellicose rhetoric.
Post 11 Jan 2020, 19:12
I must give kudos to Iran for owning up to shooting down that plane by mistake; that took some huge balls. So often countries refuse to own up to such incidents. The US still hasn't apologized for downing that Iran Air flight in 1988 over Iran's own airspace. There's still controversy about what really happened to TWA Flight 800. Russia, the Donbass and Ukraine and the West are still debating endlessly about that Dutch airliner downed in eastern Ukraine in 2014, and will likely continue to do so forever. Imagine how horrible a situation those IRGC air defense troops that pulled the trigger are in now. Not only do they have to live with that mistake for the rest of their lives, I bet some of them are going to be jailed or even killed for this.
Post 22 Jan 2020, 19:53
True, the admission of guilt by the IRGC was a gallant thing to do, that the US indeed did not do, as pointed out.

From a US media perspective, the tensions with Iran are no longer in the main news, so it's back to the status quo war in the shadows, except this time, the Qods force wont be working selectively with the US but will instead be looking at weaknesses in US positions in Iraq for proxies to exploit Meanwhile, whether the plane tragedy was an accident or a case of a spoofed detection sysrem, Iran needs to upgrade its air defenses fast.
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