Friday January 3rd, 2020
This morning, WWIII was trending on our social media as Gen Z all mentally prepped themselves to be recruited and deployed to Iraq/Iran. How did we get here and what can we do about it now?
After the Pentagon continued to defend troop presence in Iraq to fight ISIS under Obama, we've continually had between 5,000-10,000 soldiers in Iraq on a "support and training" mission. Shoutout to 2008 and the withdrawal timeline that never ends. #fullwithdrawalnow
These troops are deployed all over Iraq supporting the Iraqi military and police, plus a super complex web of quasi official militias, including the Popular Mobilization Units, which everyone has been learning about today.
The Republican position has been that the protests that were outside of the US Embassy in Iraq in late December could have been a 'second Benghazi' and are pointing the finger at Iran as the shadow hand behind this. Cue the Right's collective memory of how 1979 started.
This narrative is used to justify the airstrike on Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, reinforcing the internal narrative that this is about preventing another Benghazi. Democrats mostly wag their fingers about the process but unify that these were 'bad guys' who got theirs.
But what were those protests outside a fortified embassy costing $750,000,000 about? Airstrikes that had been occurring on Iraqi soil, some of the 34,706 reported strikes that have occurred in Iraq since August 2014. Breaking that down is about 20 airstrikes a day in Iraq.
So those airstrikes get buried in the Western news cycle, but this particular strike matters more because of who was targeted, furthering a narrative that the US needs to stay in Iraq as part of a proxy war between Iran and the US.
This reinforces the narrative that lives attached to the State matter more than those caught up in 'collateral damage' and whose lives are more disposable. We're here against all airstrikes. #resistairwars
As the brilliant @ZahraSociology reports, the protests in Iraq's #TahrirSquare are a movement towards real revolution in the Iraqi political system co-created by the US & Iran's interests and political schemes. http://bit.ly/2MI1QER
The US & Iran will continue to justify each other's presence in Iraq as reason to push more military resources into Iraq. The protesters in #TahrirSquare make the point even better than we could. #Keep_Your_Conflicts_Away_From_Iraq
So yes, as we're pushing for #NoWarWithIran, we can't go back to the status quo pretending like we haven't been continuously at war in Iraq, bombing and occupying and occasionally paying attention when someone 'important' enough gets killed. We need a real end to Airwars.
We need to change a military strategy that puts put US troops and contractors across the globe and then use that presence to justify protecting Americans from imminent harm by bombing anything that looks at us sideways. https://empire.is
Things to watch:
1) What's the official US legal justification for the Dec. 26 & 27 strikes? Are they under Article II? War Powers Exemption? 2001 or 2002 AUMF? Were still in the dark. While we dont endorse Lawfare generally, they're the only ones we found discussing this:
2) The movement of #TahrirSquare and the push of Iraqi youth for liberation and a real homeland. Amplify them and follow #TahrirSquare #IraqProtests #نريد_وطن
3) What the pattern is with the redeployment of the 82nd Airborne to Kuwait and if there are additional folks receiving Inactive Ready Reserve call up orders. Vets, hit up https://girightshotline.org/ to learn about your rights and get involved with @VetsAboutFace.
4) Finally we are working on amplifying resources and information from Iran, keep an eye on this thread.
-Tory Smith, WRL Twitter Thread