Tuesday, January 7, 2020


Want A Do-Over? Astrophysicist Says He Knows How To Build A Time Machine

From the article:

Einstein’s theory of special relativity always plays a crucial role when new theories of time traveling appear, and this is not an exception. This theory explains how time is not absolute, as we have believed, but rather, it depends on the speed at which an object is moving, and time can accelerate or decelerate depending on that.
The Twin Paradox explains how if there are two identical twins and one of them makes a journey into space in a really high-speed rocket, after he returns to Earth he will have aged less than the one that stayed on Earth. This is well accepted in the science community as a possible scenario if we ever get to reproduce this experiment. However, time travel is not possible, at least not so far.
While Mallet acknowledges that his theories and designs are unlikely to allow time travel in his lifetime, that’s not stopping him from pursuing his dream and to meet his beloved father again; therefore, he has developed some scientific equations and principles upon which he says a time machine could be created.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, January 6, 2020. A resolution passes the Iraqi Parliament but it's not yet a law, Donald Trump threatens sanctions, fools hail Qasem Solei mani as the defeater of ISIS, and much more.

Sunday, the Iraqi Parliament declared that all US troops should leave Iraq.  We're wording it that way for a reason, we'll get to that reason shortly. This morning, Louisa Loveluck  (WASHINGTON POST) notes:

While parliamentary approval seems not to be needed, at least technically speaking, their vote Sunday provides political cover for a prime minister who has been operating in a caretaker capacity since mass protests forced his resignation back in November.
“There is no law required to kick the U.S. military out because a law did not establish their presence,” Mardini said. “Baghdad has demonstrated its signal to Washington that the presence of the U.S. military is no longer wanted in Iraq. Since parliament is responsible for determining who is the next prime minister, it’s hard to imagine that individual going against the parliament’s vote."


The Iraqi authorities have begun the preapartions for removing US troops from the country, Abdul-Karim Khalaf, a security spokesman for Iraq's prime minister, told reporters on Monday.
He said that the US-led international coalition will be allowed to consult, arm and train Iraqi military personnel and security forces, but the troops will be removed.

Khalaf added that the Iraqi government had limited the movements of foreign forces on the ground and in the air.

THE NATIONAL explains that what the Parliament voted on yesterday was a resolution and not a law, a "non-binding resolution" which will not go to the Cabinet.  They explain of Parliament's actions on Sunday, "The session was boycotted by nearly half of all Iraqis parliamentarians and led by caretaker Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi, a man who had resigned from his position last month. He was largely discredited among Iraqi youth for overseeing a ruthless crackdown that took the lives of hundreds of unarmed protesters - many of whom died at the hands of pro-Iranian militias represented in parliament."

It's non-binding.  It's also true that US troops could remain in Kuwait and, yes, Iraq.  How?

Well the Kurds didn't attend the session on Sunday (nor did most Sunnis) and the Kurds are semi-autonomous.  When thug Nouri was prime minister and trying to arrest Vice President  Tareq al-Hashemi as part of his purge of all Sunnis, where did Tareq go?  The KRG.  And he stayed there for months before leaving Iraq.  And there was nothing Baghdad could do about it but bluster and scream.

So the US could keep US troops in Iraq via the KRG if they had to ("had to" meaning they were truly kicked out -- which at this point they haven't been).  Baghdad would issue threats and probably cut off monies.  The US government would probably be willing to pay monies of its own to keep US troops in Iraq.  The US government could also send US troops to Turkey -- don't forget there's already a CIA compound near the border Turkey shares with Iraq, Bully Boy Bush negotiated that during his second term.

US President Donald Trump is threatening sanctions against Iraq if US troops are kicked out.  Joanna Tan (CNBC) reports:

Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, the U.S. president said: “If they do ask us to leave, if we don’t do it in a very friendly basis, we will charge them sanctions like they’ve never seen before ever. It’ll make Iranian sanctions look somewhat tame.”
“We have a very extraordinarily expensive air base that’s there. It cost billions of dollars to build. Long before my time. We’re not leaving unless they pay us back for it,” Trump said.
The president added that “If there’s any hostility, that they do anything we think is inappropriate, we are going to put sanctions on Iraq, very big sanctions on Iraq.”

We'll note this response on Twitter.

Mr.President I was tasked by many Iraqis to carry a message to you, Iraqis are in fear of what will happen if their country is sanctioned, lmajority of them do not agree with the parliament nor their government and they have been protesting for the past 95 days

And, again, their Parliament was not in full attendance -- all Kurds and most Sunni lawmakers boycotted the Sunday session.

Sanctions terrify Iraqis more than war. The majority not seeing a problem with severing ties with the U.S. never lived through sanctions. Majority of protesters were born after 1991. They remember the sanctions.

Now let's turn to the public e-mail account where 15 drive-bys all repeat -- word for word -- the same e-mail that vanillagoddess2000@yahoo.com sent (with a virus, sorry, Vanilla, I have protection and then some) which boils down to the charge that before last week I had never even heard of Qassim Soleimani.  I saw that first on Twitter about right wingers.  Some less than factual lefties making that charge -- and making the whole left look stupid as a result.  If you were an adult -- right, left, whatever -- following Iraq, you were well aware of Soleimani.  We are left and Soleimani has been noted here repeatedly over the years.

In fact, September 25, 2018, the focus of that entire snapshot really is on Soleimani.  There's a sentence in there that I have no idea what I'm trying to say -- I dictate these snapshots and I speak very fast so I'm amazed anyone's able to type them up.  But But we do address Soleimani.  That's not the first time, use Google and you'll see we've addressed him repeatedly over the years.  But I bring up that snapshot because we talk about the US terrorist designation at length -- including noting the following 2011 release from the US Treasury Dept:

 Treasury Sanctions Five Individuals Tied to Iranian Plot to Assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced the designation of five individuals, including four senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force (IRGC-QF) officers connected to a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir, while he was in the United States and to carry out follow-on attacks against other countries’ interests inside the United States and in another country. As part of today’s action, Treasury also designated the individual responsible for arranging the assassination plot on behalf of the IRGC-QF.
Designated today pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224 for acting for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF were: Manssor Arbabsiar, a naturalized U.S. citizen holding both Iranian and U.S. passports who acted on behalf of the IRGC-QF to pursue the failed plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador; IRGC-QF commander Qasem Soleimani; Hamed Abdollahi, a senior IRGC-QF official who coordinated aspects of the plot and oversaw the other Qods Force officials directly responsible for coordinating and planning this operation; Abdul Reza Shahlai, an IRGC-QF official who coordinated this operation; and Ali Gholam Shakuri, an IRGC-QF official and deputy to Shahlai, who met with Arbabsiar on several occasions to discuss the assassination and other planned attacks.
Arbabsiar and Shakuri were named by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York in a criminal complaint unsealed today connected with the IRGC-QF plot. Among the charges brought against them was conspiracy to engage in foreign travel and use interstate and foreign commerce facilities in the commission of murder-for-hire. According to the criminal complaint, Arbabsiar arranged for $100,000 to be sent from Tehran to the U.S. as a down payment for the assassination of the Saudi ambassador. Two wire transfers totaling approximately $100,000 were sent from a non-Iranian foreign bank to a bank in the United States, to the account of the person recruited by Arbabsiar to carry out the assassination.
“Iran once again has used the Qods Force and the international financial system to pursue an act of international terrorism, this time aimed against a Saudi diplomat,” said David S. Cohen, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “The financial transactions at the heart of this plot lay bare the risk that banks and other institutions face in doing business with Iran.”
As a result of today’s designations, U.S. persons are prohibited from engaging in transactions with these individuals, and any assets they may hold in the U.S. are frozen.
Manssor Arbabsiar
Arbabsiar met on a number of occasions with senior IRGC-QF officials regarding this plot and acted on behalf of senior Qods Force officials – including his cousin Abdul Reza Shahlai and Shahlai’s deputy Gholam Shakuri – to execute the plot. During one such meeting, a $100,000 payment for the murder of the Saudi ambassador was approved by the IRGC-QF. After this meeting, Arbabsiar arranged for approximately $100,000 to be sent from a non-Iranian foreign bank to the United States, to the account of the person he recruited to carry out the assassination.
Qasem Soleimani
As IRGC-QF Commander, Qasem Soleimani oversees the IRGC-QF officers who were involved in this plot. Soleimani was previously designated by the Treasury Department under E.O. 13382 based on his relationship to the IRGC. He was also designated in May 2011 pursuant to E.O. 13572, which targets human rights abuses in Syria, for his role as the Commander of the IRGC-QF, the primary conduit for Iran's support to the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate (GID).
Hamed Abdollahi
Abdollahi is also a senior IRGC-QF officer who coordinated aspects of this operation. Abdollahi oversees other Qods Force officials – including Shahlai – who were responsible for coordinating and planning this operation.
Abdul Reza Shahlai
Shahlai is an IRGC-QF official who coordinated the plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the United States Adel Al-Jubeir, while he was in the United States and to carry out follow-on attacks against other countries’ interests inside the United States and in another country. Shahlai worked through his cousin, Mansour Arbabsiar, who was named in the criminal complaint for conspiring to bring the IRGC-QF’s plot to fruition. Shahlai approved financial allotments to Arbabsiar to help recruit other individuals for the plot, approving $5 million dollars as payment for all of the operations discussed.
Shahlai was designated by Treasury in September 2008 pursuant to E.O. 13438 for threatening the peace and stability of Iraq and the Government of Iraq.
Ali Gholam Shakuri
Shakuri is an IRGC-QF officer and deputy to Abdul Reza Shahlai who acted on behalf of Shahlai in support of this plot. Shakuri provided financial support to Arbabsiar and met with Arbabsiar several times to discuss the planned assassination and other attacks. With Shakuri’s approval, Arbabsiar arranged for the $100,000 down payment to be sent from a non-Iranian foreign bank to the United States.
Background on Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force
The IRGC-QF is the Government of Iran’s primary foreign action arm for executing its policy of supporting terrorist organizations and extremist groups around the world. The IRGC-QF provides training, logistical assistance and material and financial support to militants and terrorist operatives, including the Taliban, Lebanese Hizballah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command.
IRGC-QF officers and their associates have supported attacks against U.S. and allied troops and diplomatic missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The IRGC-QF continues to train, equip and fund Iraqi Shia militant groups – such as Kata'ib and Hizballah – and elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan to prevent an increase in Western influence in the region. In the Levant, the IRGC-QF supports terrorist groups such as Lebanese Hizballah and Hamas, which it views as integral to its efforts to challenge U.S. influence in the Middle East.
The Government of Iran also uses the IRGC and IRGC-QF to implement its foreign policy goals, including, but not limited to, seemingly legitimate activities that provide cover for intelligence operations and support to terrorist and insurgent groups. These activities include economic investment, reconstruction, and other types of aid to Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, implemented by companies and institutions that act for or on behalf of, or are owned or controlled by, the IRGC and the Iranian government.
The IRGC-QF was designated by Treasury pursuant to E.O. 13224 in October 2007 for its support for terrorism, and was listed in the Annex to E.O. 13572 of April 2011 as the conduit for Iran's support to Syria’s GID, the overarching civilian intelligence service in Syria which has been involved in human rights abuses in Syria.
Indentifying Information:
Individual:                  Manssor Arbabsiar
AKA:                            Mansour Arbabsiar
DOB:                           March 15, 1955
Alt. DOB:                     March 6, 1955
POB:                           Iran
Citizenship:               United Staes
Driver’s License:      07442833 (United States); expires March 15, 2016
Passport:                   C2002515 (Iran)
Alt. Passport:             477845448 (United States)
Individual:                  Ali Gholam Shakuri
DOB:                           1964
Alt. DOB:                    1965
Alt. DOB 2:                 1966
Location:                    Tehran, Iran
Individual:                  Abdul Reza Shahlai
AKA:                           Abdol Reza Shala'i
AKA:                           Abd-al Reza Shalai
AKA:                           'Abdorreza Shahlai
AKA:                           Abdolreza Shahla'i
AKA:                           Abdul-Reza Shahlaee
AKA:                           Hajj Yusef
AKA:                           Haji Yusif
AKA:                           Hajji Yasir
AKA:                           Hajji Yusif
AKA:                           'Yusuf Abu-al-Karkh'
DOB:                          Circa 1957
Location:                   Kermanshah, Iran
Alt. Location:             Mehran Military Base, Ilam Province, Iran
Individual:                  Hamed Abdollahi
AKA:                            Mustafa Abdullahi
DOB:                           August 11, 1960
Passport:                   D9004878
Citizenship:                Iran
Individual:                  Qasem Soleimani
AKA:                           Ghasem Soleymani
AKA:                           Qasmi Sulayman
AKA:                           Qasem Soleymani
AKA:                           Qasem Solaimani
AKA:                           Qasem Salimani
AKA:                           Qasem Solemani
AKA:                           Qasem Sulaimani
AKA:                           Qasem Sulemani
DOB:                          March 11, 1957
POB:                          Qom, Iran
Passport:                  1999 Diplomatic Passport 008827 (Iran)
We note that the US government has labeled him a terrorist and we note that if that designation is correct, why has the US government not acted?  From that snapshot:
The report says Qasem Soleimani has told the Kurds that they must have only one nominee for president or he will make choose the nominee himself.  Who?  The Iranian labeled a terrorist by the US government.  It's amazing, isn't it, how drones are used to kill 'terrorists' -- that's what our government insists, anyway.  But Qasem, labeled a terrorist by the US government as well as the UN, is apparently an untouchable.  Is he a terrorist?  If he is, why has the US arrested him or, as the US government prefers, killed him?  They've known where he is -- during the fight against ISIS, he was repeatedly in Iraq.  He is labeled a terrorist and has been for years.  Why has no US president been able to arrest him?

Is he a terrorist or not?  If he's not, he needs to be taken off the list.  If he is, the US government needs to do their job and arrest him.  Barack Obama [. . .] and Donald Trump have both allowed [Q]Asem Soleimani to traipse all over Iraq.  Now he's dictating to the Iraqi Kurds what they can and cannot do.  If the US government -- supposedly so concerned about terrorism -- had done its job, Qasem would be in a prison right now, not threatening Kurdish politicians.

Is it all just a game, a fraud against the people of the world, or does the label terrorist actually have a meaning?
I argued for him to be arrested.  I stand by that call.  I have not praised the use of drone strikes, I have called them out here repeatedly.  I also believe if we accuse, we bring before a court.
Those are my beliefs, others can disagree -- and many do.  
But he was labeled a terrorist by the US government which then went on to do nothing about it.  
We've noted him at this site for years.  We noted him repeatedly.  We've noted other things as well.  Such as?  
Well there's the lie -- among the deluded -- that Soleimani defeated ISIS in Iraq.
ISIS was never defeated in Iraq.  Some of the people repeating that lie do so because they hate Sunni Arabs.  Some, for example, in Syria or with the ties or support of the Syrian government.  They hate Sunnis.  I didn't realize they hated them so much -- these people.  Some of whom were quoted here re: War on Syria.  And would be quoted again because we don't need more wars.  But do grasp that in Syria, the majority are Sunni and yet the Shi'ite government oppresses them.  Remember that when you're on a Twitter and Syrian woman's praising Soleimani.  Of course she is, she's pro-Assad and she's pro-death to the Sunnis.  
They lie.  They whore.
Hayder al-Abadi was the prime minister of Iraq during the efforts to unseat ISIS -- especially to retake Mosul.  
What was the militas role?
Well they terrorized Sunni towns early on, remember?
Do you not remember that?  Oh, that's because, in America, you weren't paying attention to Iraq anymore.  Via a 2015 snapshot, let's journey back to those days when Mitchell Prothero (McClatchy Newspapers) reported
Concern about Shiite militia behavior as they moved into a Sunni area was one reason the United States withheld air support from the operation until Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi gave assurances that the militias would not enter the city itself as part of the final push. But the militias had a heavy presence in the town after its liberation and were seen openly looting government buildings and private homes, as well as burning buildings belonging to suspected collaborators.
Fred Abrahams (Human Rights Watch) pointed out, "In other areas retaken from ISIS, pro-government militias and volunteer fighters, along with Iraqi security forces, have looted Sunni villages, destroyed homes with explosives, and burned buildings to the ground.Rod Nordland (New York Times) noted the Shi'ite militias crimes in Tikrit were seen in earlier 'liberation' efforts and he offers:
Prime Minister Abadi publicly criticized the looting and ordered the militias to be withdrawn from Tikrit on Saturday as a result, a move that was widely praised by Sunni leaders.
On Tuesday, Mr. Abadi went a step further, ordering that all the popular mobilization forces be placed under the direct command of the prime minister’s office. The collective popular mobilization had been led by Hadi al-Ameri, a prominent Shiite politician and leader of the Badr Organization and militia, who has close ties to Iran.
“He tried his best to stop the looting in Tikrit, and we appreciate that, but he couldn’t,” Hamid al-Mutlaq, a Sunni member of Parliament from Anbar, said of the prime minister’s efforts. “The people of Anbar will not let that happen there.”
Jason Ditz (Antiwar.com) linked to Nordland's article and observes, "Iraqi PM Hayder Abadi is trying to give lip-service to the US idea, saying they’d like more Sunni involvement. He doesn’t seem to be ruling out the Shi’ite militias, however, and given the looting and lynching the militias have carried out virtually every time they take Sunni towns, the number of Sunnis who might get on board for the offensive are shrinking by the day."
I don't hate Shi'ites, I don't hate Sunnis.  I'm for people and that puts me ahead of many apparently.  Including a certain Syrian Twitter poster who better pose for another selfie since it appears her 'wisdom' won't advance her so maybe her looks will.
In April 2015, Hayder al-Abadi put the militias under his control as part of the Iraqi military and did so not because they were achieving but because they were destroying.
Saying Soleimani defeated ISIS is a lie on so many levels.
1) It ignores the fact that ISIS is still active in Iraq and that this was supposed to be the big news story for the first of this year.  The rollout had already started.  The BBC was only one outlet spending the last weeks of 2019 on ISIS.  I didn't feel the need for those stories here because we said, in real time, ISIS is not vanquished.  
2) Soleimani is an Iranian.  In what world do we give him or any foreigner (that would include the US) credit for what a country's people did?
3) Many Iraqis lost their lives in the battles against ISIS -- that's civilians who stood up and members of the military who fought.  Why in the world would you wipe all of them away to give credit to one person?
4) He was barred -- as were the militias -- from entering areas (that includes Mosul) that the Iraqi military was trying to liberate from ISIS.
Only an idiot would look at the Iraqis who fought ISIS and try to say, "Soleimani defeated ISIS!"
Here's what supporters of Soleimani did in Basra on Sunday.
Basra, Iraq , PMF and Militia members/supporters attacked the tents of the Peaceful protesters yesterday هجوم عناصر تحمل اعلام الحشد و الميليشيات على خيم المتظاهرين في البصرة
Register that, Margaret Kimberley, while you pretend you care about those in need.  Protesters in Iraq have been ignored by you for over 95 days.  They don't matter to you so you clearly won't give a damn about the above.  But that's who you're canonizing.  
Last night, I called out Ben Connable for his nonsense and there's a whiner in the public e-mail account saying I don't grasp his column.  Oh, I do.  I also grasp how it does not fit with any comments that Ben has previously made.  For example, September of 2014, I was at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing where Ben declared, "The thrust of my proposition here is that the success or failure of any coalition effort to defeat IS --  and ultimately to stabilize Iraq -- hinges not on tactical considerations or tribal engagement efforts, but on the more critical issue of Sunni Iraqi reconciliation. I believe the new anti-IS coalition can succeed if it predicates all of its actions in Iraq on national reconciliation between Sunni and Shia Iraqis. If political reconciliation is not the core aspect of an anti-IS strategy then coalition efforts are likely to fail in the long run."
Grasp what he said then and what he babbles about in his column.  Grasp that there has never been political reconciliation. Grasp that he knows its needed and he avoids the topic now.  That topic is at the heart of what's going on Iraq and what's led to the months long protests.
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