The bottom line is clear: Our vital interests in Afghanistan are limited and military victory is not the key to achieving them. On the contrary, waging a lengthy counterinsurgency war in Afghanistan may well do more to aid Taliban recruiting than to dismantle the group, help spread conflict further into Pakistan, unify radical groups that might otherwise be quarreling amongst themselves, threaten the long-term health of the U.S. economy, and prevent the U.S. government from turning its full attention to other pressing problems. -- Afghanistan Study Group

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Update for Saturday, September 8, 2018

The corporate media in the U.S. are now largely ignoring Iraq. It seems that having squandered a couple of trillion dollars, four thousand dead troops and who knows how many more wounded, and managing to bring about the deaths of a million or so Iraqis, now that unpleasantness is over and there's no reason for us to pay any attention to what's going on over there.

So, we will take note here that there has been a complete collapse of civil order in Basra as protesters trash every government building, political party headquarters, and facilities of Iranian-backed militias and the Iranian consulate. The water is undrinkable and people who have been poisoned are lying in hospital corridors untreated. Most of the time there is no electricity in 120 degree heat.

Protesters set fire to the Iranian consulate. I have not been able to find reports of the extent of the damage, but personnel all escaped unharmed. However this Reuters photo seems to show that the building was essentially gutted although it has a concrete exterior.

Of course Iraqi government officials are blaming everybody but themselves

Iraq's parliament is in emergency session as PM Abadi promises to violently repress the protests.

Interestingly, the U.S. State Department has implicitly condemned the assault on the Iranian consulate, without specifically naming it.


Mortar shells also fell in the Green Zone in Baghdad.

Stay tuned.

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