**** PREMIUM REPORT ****
LastDayWatchers watch the continual results which expose the lies to the so-called "Success of the Surge"
Bombings across Iraq killed 19 people on Saturday as militants blew up a key bridge linking the capital to the north, the latest in a surge of violence.
It is the first time militants have exercised such open control in Iraqi cities since the peak of the violence that followed the 2003 US-led invasion.
Violence has spread to Fallujah, as militants moved in and seized the city and parts of Ramadi after security forces withdrew.
Two explosions targeting the home of a soldier killed him, his wife, his two daughters and two sons as they slept. The blasts leveled the home, Muqdadiyah is about 90 kilometers (60 miles) north of Baghdad.
In Baghdad, a car bomb exploded in a commercial street in the capital's western neighborhood of Amariyah, killing four people and wounding 12, police said.
The current fate of Iraq is still linked to the US invasion a decade ago, even if US troops have left. The shattering of the country, the disastrous de-Baathification process, the entrenching of sectarian politics, the marginalisation of the Sunni population and the opening created for Iran to expand its influence; all have contributed to its current woes. It is impossible to speak of Iraq today without understanding the US’s role.
Not only did the U.S. invasion and occupation fail to bring a functional democracy to Iraq, neither U.S. forces nor the successive U.S.-backed Iraqi governments have been able to provide the Iraqi people with basic security. This has led many ordinary citizens to turn to armed sectarian militia for protection.
The tendency in the United States to blame "sectarian conflict" and "long-simmering hatreds" for the violence in Iraq is effectively blaming the victims and avoids acknowledging the U.S. role in the ongoing tragedy.
More than 140,000 people have fled their homes in the Iraqi cities of Fallujah and Ramadi since December when anti-government fighters occupied parts of both cities, according to the UN refugee agency.
Thousands of displaced people have fled to Baghdad and other nearby provinces, but some have travelled as far as the northern Kurdish region, according to the UN.
Secretary of State John Kerry is singing a utopian tune in a region that has moved on from the nationalist ghosts of the last century.
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It has been decades (1982) since an Israeli prime minister so directly opposed a diplomatic initiative of the American president. It has been even longer (1956) since an American president stated publicly and emphatically that he, not Israel’s prime minister, knew what was in Israel’s best interests.
Congress is sending U.S negotiators into the next phase of negotiations with a poor credit score. While U.S. diplomats are seasoned enough to secure a deal between the P5+1 and Iran, the uncertainty over whether Obama can deliver on its pledges enables Tehran to demand tougher terms than would otherwise be possible. And, so long as the repeal or termination of sanctions is contingent on a Congress that much of the world views as hostile to a negotiated solution, we can expect Iran to strike a hard bargain.
A strong magnitude 6.1 earthquake rattled the Java region of central Indonesia on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey reported.