After untold billions of dollars in US training and equipment, the Iraqi army is not capable of taking the city of Mosul back from ISIS control. Part of the problem is that the multi-sectarian Iraqi army is not so keen on fighting an ISIS that includes Sunni elements of the old Iraqi army among other things. What does that mean? The Pentagon has told the White House it needs even more troops as “advisors” in advance of the expected battle. Already more than 6,000 US troops remain in Iraq. This new infusion will make at least 6,500 and that many contractors as well. And if Mosul is “liberated”? Some warn that may be the beginning of the second Iraqi civil war. More today in the Ron Paul Liberty Report:
Now if we can just stop them from blowing stuff up all the time, this thing is in the bag.
Social Media Uber Alles
Despite the reality that propaganda in wartime is as old as dirt, America collectively is freaking out because a lot of ISIS’ takes place on social media. The elderly and feeble who run our government do not understand The Online gizmos and thus are terrified of them and declare they must be turned off with a big switch somewhere.
The young who serve them and understand little outside their own online bubbly life, all want to get ahead and so are eager to “engage” in online warfare with ISIS as if it was all just a cooler version of Pokemon Go.
The apparent attack on a humanitarian convoy in the rebel-held part of Aleppo seems to be the final nail in the coffin of the latest ceasefire in Syria. The US blames the Russians for what it calls an “airstrike” on the aid convoy, but the Russians deny that they or the Syrians bombed the convoy. Was it a rebel provocation, like the gas attack at Ghouta in 2013? How do the Russians or Syrians benefit by attacking a UN aid convoy just as the world is watching Aleppo? A briefing on three important events in Syria in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
The NSA is collecting every aspect of our lives and storing them in a massive database. Most Americans are not paying attention to the encroaching total surveillance state. Thanks to Oliver Stone’s new film, “Snowden,” however, there is some hope for grassroots opposition to encroaching tyranny. Former State Department official and whistleblower Peter Van Buren joins today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:
MEMORANDUM FOR: Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Vice Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity SUBJECT: U.S. Media Mum On How Your Committee Faced Down Both CIA and Obama
We write to thank you for your unwavering support for your extraordinarily courageous and tenacious staff in (1) investigating CIA torture under the Bush/Cheney administration and (2) resisting CIA/White House attempts under the Obama administration to cover up heinous torture crimes like waterboarding.
We confess to having been shocked at the torture detailed in the version of the executive summary your Committee released on December 9, 2014. We found ourselves wondering what additional behavior could have been deemed so repugnant that the White House and CIA insisted it be redacted; and if the entire 6,700-page investigation – with whatever redaction might be truly necessary – would ever see the light of day. We think you could take steps now to make it less likely that the full report be deep-sixed, and we will make some suggestions below toward that end.
The Associated Press is reporting that the US military has struck Syrian government positions in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour today, as the Syrian military was involved in a battle with ISIS forces. According to the report, the US attack on Syrian troops “enabled an [ISIS] advance on the hill overlooking the air base.” There has not yet been a US confirmation of the attack, but it it is confirmed it will be the second time US forces have directly targeted Syrian government troops inside Syria. It would be the first time such an attack produced a battlefield advantage to ISIS.
According to a Tweet by AP, the Russian government says the US attack has killed 62 Syrian government troops.
Earlier today it was reported that the Syrian government had sent some 1,000 members of the elite Republican Guard into the Deir el-Zour province, as battles with ISIS in the area increase. There is no word yet on whether the Syrian troops hit by the United States were members of this Republican Guard.
This dramatic development comes as the latest ceasefire begins to crumble. Russia has condemned Washington’s refusal to implement a key component of the agreement, to press US-backed rebels to cease fighting alongside al-Qaeda; and the main US-backed “moderate” Islamist group, Ahrar al-Sham, has refused to take part in the ceasefire at all.
Is today’s attack a turning point in the war, where the US will begin to strike Syrian government forces more frequently? If so, how will Russia and Iran react to this overt shift in US strategy?