Antichrist’s Men Integrate Into Iraq Politics

02 December 2016
Key Points
The passage of law making the Hashd al-Shaabi part of Iraq’s armed forces will not increase government oversight or influence over Shia militias.
However, the legislation will safeguard militias against pressure to demobilize following the conclusion of military operations against the Islamic State and facilitate such groups’ future participation in elections.
Sunni opposition to the law threatens to derail the project for national reconciliation.
As with the army, Hashd al-Shaabi fighters, which comprise approximately 110,000 soldiers will receive salaries and pensions. This will probably be in addition to ongoing funding from Iran received by many of the Iran-aligned component groups. The Hashd al-Shaabi comprises groups of varied political affiliations and loyalties; its leading components – the Badr Organisation, Kata’eb Hizbullah and Asai’ib Ahl al-Haq – are closely aligned with Iran and their operations on the ground are co-ordinated by the head of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani. Shia leader Muqtada al-Sadr, whose Peace Brigades are another component, had until recently maintained an openly antagonistic stance towards these groups and distanced himself from association with the Hashd al-Shaabi as an entity and its Iranian backers. The final component comprises those groups that answer directly to the Shia religious establishment in Iraq’s holy cities of Najaf and Karbala, including the Ali Al Akhbar Brigade and the Abbas Division; these receive donations from Iran, but do not receive training from, and are not otherwise close to, the IRGC. Although the Hashd al-Shaabi will be funded from the Ministry of Defence budget, the law did not specify under whose operational command it would fall; and this may be, on paper, the Iraqi chiefs of staff/minister of defence, it is likely that in reality it will be answerable directly to the prime minister, with Iran exercising a controlling influence.
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The Antichrist’s Men (Revelation 13:28)

 MIDEAST > US concerned over Shiite militia joining Iraqi army
US concerned over Shiite militia joining Iraqi army
The Iraqi government’s effort to integrate a Shiite militia, the al-Hashd al-Shaabi, into the country’s security forces is concerning as it might increase Iran’s influence with Baghdad, a U.S. general said on Nov. 30.
“It will increase obviously Shia – potentially Iranian – influence over the government of Iraq and we have to be concerned about it,” the head of Central Command, Gen. Joseph Votel, said during a panel discussion at the Foreign Policy Initiative, a neoconservative Washington-based think tank, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
The Iraqi Parliament passed a law last weekend that formally recognized the controversial Iran-backed al-Hashd al-Shaabi as an “independent military entity” operating within the Iraqi army.
Votel said he believes that the nuclear deal inked between world powers and Iran last year did not prompt change in “Tehran’s sponsoring of terror groups and fueling of sectarian conflicts.”
“[The nuclear deal] is implemented appropriately but it addresses only one of our concerns,” he said of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, adding that since the deal Iran has sponsored more than 100,000 Shiite militias in conflicts, including in Yemen and Iraq.
“I would probably say there is a little bit of uptick,” he said.
Meanwhile, Iraqi special forces fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants on the eastern side of Mosul have retaken 19 neighborhoods from the extremist group since the battle for the city began last month, Brig. Gen. Haider Fadhil of the special forces told The Associated Press on Nov. 30.
Fadhil said his men were now about four kilometers (2.5 miles) from the Tigris river, which slices the city in half. He said the 19 neighborhoods constituted less than 30 percent of the part of the city east of the Tigris.

Obama Assisted The Iranian Horn (Daniel 8)

Healthcare Advisor
1:27 PM 12/01/2016
President Obama has positioned the Middle East for an extensive and destructive period of great consequence which has the potential for world-wide impact far beyond the current refugee and terror crisis. The images of bloodied children in Syria and Yemen are grave examples of a selfish lack of respect for the Middle Eastern people, their culture and religions. Another example is Obama not recognizing that Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, believes he is in the actual lineage of the Prophet Mohammad. Hosseini Khamenei’s theological position makes him (in his opinion) the religious leader over the entire Muslim world! Can you imagine how the peaceful countries of the Gulf Cooperative Council view this dangerous situation? Obama’s apparent disregard for the value of the people in Muslim majority countries and their sectarian residents has placed all our allies in the Middle East in grave danger.
The cornerstone of Obama’s dangerous and politically driven strategy was laid in secret by Secretary Clinton’s State Department in Muscat Oman. Obama’s personal goal of a Nuclear Treaty with Iran kicked-off the cash flow from Arab counties to the Clinton Foundation and speaking agreements for Bill Clinton. This action was added to Obama’s determination to remove all US military support for “keeping the peace” after the hard-won success of the troop surge. The announcement of the date for the departure of all US Troops is an example of Obama’s total disregard for the welfare of Iraqi citizens and peace in the greater Gulf Region. The impact of the Arab Spring magnified the lack of a coherent strategy in the Obama/Clinton Administration. The support of the Muslim Brotherhood by Obama discredited the US standing with Allies and helped divide many GCC partners, resulting in the recalling their Ambassadors to Qatar. The Arab world knew the danger of Obama’s actions and thought they could influence President Obama through Hillary and Bill Clinton. No one should blame our Arab friends from doing all they could to protect their people from Obama’s naïve actions.
One early prosecutor of Obama’s plan was the late Richard Holbrooke. Holbrook worked to redirect GCC humanitarian funding so that those funds would line up with Obama’s desire to exit Iraq and Afghanistan. One example outlines the UAE’s generous heart to improve healthcare for the people of Afghanistan. Holbrooke made it very clear on a visit to Abu Dhabi that Obama did not want any US organization to make a further commitment to the Afghan conflict. Note: The UAE proceeded on their own to deliver care in the Helmand Province at great danger to their military healthcare staff. UAE produced a documentary film covering this commitment to the Afghan people.
President Obama’s and Mrs. Clinton’s most egregious disregard for the people of the Middle East was the Iranian Nuclear Treaty. European leaders are complicit, but Obama, Clinton and Kerry persuaded them to think only of their personal political standings and not the affected people living on or near the borders of Iran. In the face of Iran’s criminal actions in Yemen, and by Iran supplying Hezbollah and Hamas terrorists with weapons, including missiles, Obama caved to Iranian demands for hard currency which in turn was traded for American lives for a worthless signature of by Iran.
All these US actions took place just as the Gulf Cooperative Council countries were developing expanded opportunities for their citizens in the areas of improvements in education, healthcare and promising careers for their young men and women. The United Arab Emirates provided a real example of respect for all their citizens by sending a flight of F-16s, led by a female pilot, against ISIS after the public, fiery torture of a Jordanian pilot in 2014. Saudi Arabia and the UAE answered the call of the legitimate government of Yemen by sending troops and aerial attacks to push back Iranian-supported and directed rebels. The UAE martyrs shocked the souls of the UAE people but did not deter their commitment to free the Yemeni people from the Houthi insurgency.
If Obama had been a respectful student of the Quran and taken time to listen to our friends in the Middle East, he would have known that Sayyed Ali Hosseini Khamenei had no intention to honor any agreement with non-Muslims, given his perceived role as an apostle of the Prophet Mohammed. Khamenei’s interpretation of the Quran supports his every action and emboldens his aggressive behaviors.
It is time to bring the suffering of millions to an end. The citizens of the Middle East have every right to live in peace and harmony. It is time for the United States of America to be a reliable and trusted partner to the Gulf Cooperative Council Countries, including Egypt, Jordan and Israel, to crush ISIS and contain the Iranian regime’s destructive ambitions.
David Printy is a healthcare executive who lived in the Middle East from 2006-2014, leading and advising in the delivery of health care in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon and the United Arab Emirates. He currently advises Arab Gulf Region and India based Private Equity and healthcare organizations.

The Apprentice’s Foreign Ignorance

An entire subcontinent is currently scratching its head over a read-out issued by the Pakistani government of a phone call on Monday between Donald Trump and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif:
Joshua KeatingJoshua Keating
Joshua Keating is a staff writer at Slate focusing on international affairs.
Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif called President-elect USA Donald Trump and felicitated him on his victory. President Trump said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif you have a very good reputation. You are a terrific guy. You are doing amazing work which is visible in every way. I am looking forward to see you soon. As I am talking to you Prime Minister, I feel I am talking to a person I have known for long. Your country is amazing with tremendous opportunities. Pakistanis are one of the most intelligent people. I am ready and willing to play any role that you want me to play to address and find solutions to the outstanding problems. It will be an honor and I will personally do it. Feel free to call me any time even before 20th January that is before I assume my office.
On being invited to visit Pakistan by the Prime Minister, Mr. Trump said that he would love to come to a fantastic country, fantastic place of fantastic people. Please convey to the Pakistani people that they are amazing and all Pakistanis I have known are exceptional people, said Mr. Donald Trump.
Clearly, there’s some garbled paraphrasing and editing here—I’m assuming Sharif also said a thing or two—and according to the Washington Post, the Trump transition team hasn’t responded to requests for corroboration, but it certainly sounds like Trump’s very distinctive cadence and vocabulary. Given what’s been released about his other conversations with world leaders, the tone here wouldn’t be out of character. Another example: his informal invitation to British Prime Minister Theresa May to “let me know” if she happened to be traveling to the U.S.
It would be unusual for the president-elect to talk to any foreign leader this way, and particularly Sharif given the complicated and tense relationship between the United States and Pakistan. The country is a major recipient of U.S. military aid but its security services are also widely believed to be backing anti-American insurgent groups, including the Taliban. It’s the sort of situation that any president should approach only with extreme caution.
Trump’s lavish praise for Pakistan has predictably made headlines in Pakistan’s rival India. The Times of India reports that a spokesman for India’s foreign ministry has issued the “deadpan” response: “We look forward to the president-elect helping Pakistan address the most outstanding of its outstanding issues—terrorism.”
During the campaign, Trump—a self-proclaimed “big fan of Hindu”—promised the U.S. would be “best friends” with India under his administration and praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He’s also acquired an odd cult following among hardline Hindu nationalists, who are likely now miffed that the man they counted on to be an anti-Islamic crusader has such nice things to say about their most hated enemy. The Indian media is suggesting this is some kind of flip-flop for Trump. He did once tweet, back in 2012, “Get it straight: Pakistan is not our friend. We’ve given them billions and billions of dollars, and what did we get? Betrayal and disrespect – and much worse. #TimeToGetTough”.
As Akbar Shahid Ahmed of the Huffington Post writes, we should be worried less about what Trump’s plans for South Asia are than the fact that he likely doesn’t have any. Typically, presidents-elect get State Department briefings before speaking with foreign leaders, but Trump has reportedly been turning those down. It’s all been very casual. Assuming the transcript is mostly accurate, then, it seems safe to assume that Trump was just buttering Sharif up without giving much thought to the sensitivities involved in a very tense geopolitical conflict or how his words might be interpreted. Which makes the story both pretty amusing—and scary.

The Rapproachment of the Ten Nuclear Horns (Daniel 7:7)

2017 – year of rapprochement between Russia and the West – The Daily Coin
Donald Trump’s election victory in the US, and the coming election victories of either Francois Fillon or Marine Le Pen in France, are set to transform international relations as the US and France seek rapprochement with Russia.
Last Sunday’s results of the primaries of the French Republican Party’s primaries for the election of the French President, by giving victory to former President’s Sarkozy’s Prime Minister François Fillon, has confirmed the prospect of the next French government seeking normalisation of relations with Russia.
At least this is what Fillon and his rival in the contest Marine Le Pen both say.
Coming in conjunction with the statements of the US President-elect Donald Trump, it marks 2017 as a year of huge change in the approach of the West towards Russia.
The lifting of EU sanctions on Russia and the likely cooperation between the US and Russia to defeat ISIS in Syria and Iraq, which had seemed very unlikely just a short time ago, now suddenly seem real and reasonable.
Both Trump and the next French President will probably try to convince Britain to support this enterprise. In that case that will leave Germany as the last major country defending EU economic sanctions against Russia, with France and Italy leading a huge lobby within the EU to have the sanctions lifted – if only because of the effect on their economies of Russia’s counter-sanctions – with Britain increasingly unwilling to interfere in these huge questions because of its need to trigger Article 50 next year (probably in March), starting the process for it to leave the European Union.
The alliance of the US and Russia to defeat ISIS in Syria will probably receive support from France as well. At least that is what both Francois Fillon and Marine Le Pen both say.
These reshuffles in the international system will completely change the course of the conflict in Syria, probably accelerating its resolution, but will create additional problems in other countries of the region like Libya.
It is very likely that the terrorists currently in Syria will try to flee to Libya or, in the worst scenario, to Europe, following the same path traced by the migrants who have been flooding the continent. Should that happen Europe will need Russia’s cooperation to deal with that as well.
Russia’s current experience detecting Jihadi militants in its soil, as well as the Russian intelligence databases of terrorists, will be extremely important for the European countries in their investigation of migrants entering Europe to claim asylum.
by Guilherme Schneider
Source – The Duran