Here is a local service monitor for all major ISPs in Iraq: http://akonet.info
This is the usual procedure by the "freedom" government they do this every time, the only issue is this time the protestors are not carrying any flags or any political or religious figures names etc... only the Iraqi flag and burning Iranian flags,
so far it's people(sometimes people and the army) vs government... few people got killed already, there is news the Baghdad airport has fallen into the hands of the protestors, and most of the main roads are blocked and crowded with people
All cities are offline except Kurdistan up north
I wish the Iraqi people the best I hope you can either get the government to get their ass into gear or otherwise replace them. I have spoken to plenty of family members in Kurdistan and they're all wishing you all the best.
It's a sad state of affairs but I hope it works out for the better.
If so, it's a sign of good progress in Iraqi society and mindset. Such a thing wouldn't be possible just 10 years ago, it was always sort of 'us' vs 'them', these groups being ethnically and/or religiously defined.
The "freedom" government blocks the internet to censor people? I find that somewhat ironic...
(I presume that's the name of the party in power or something. It sure doesn't seem like it's a description of their behavior.)
Why "freedom"? Is it the name of a political party?
EDIT: Found my source: https://www.iafrikan.com/2019/05/06/shutting-down-social-med...
"Under a blackout, each successive day of protest had more violence than would typically happen as a protest unfolded with continued internet access. Meanwhile, the effects of shutdowns on peaceful demonstrations, which are usually more likely to rely on careful coordination through digital channels, were ambiguous and inconsistent. In no scenario were blackouts consistently linked to reduced levels of protest over the course of several days. Instead of curtailing protest, they seemed to encourage a tactical shift to strategies that are less orderly, more chaotic and more violent."
> demonstrators in Baghdad and elsewhere protest against lack of jobs and poor services.
The invasion of Iraq was a shit show, but let's not get into history rewriting here: Living in Iraq before the invasion was not some kind of utopia. He was a brutal dictator. And people suffered for it.
How often do you see Iraqi scientists or doctors these days participate in international conferences? Whereas that used to be commonplace.
'I toppled Saddam’s statue, now I want him back'
Elsewhere he said that there are now '1000 Saddams'
As long as we are clear on that, yes, Iraq under Saddam was shit. That's no excuse to make it worse.
And it seems, no.
Even if the US had not tried to create their kind of government, Iran sure as shit was trying to get their guys in.
So for the US its not about a question about US control, Iraqi control. Its a question of US control or Iranian control.
In this case they supported mostly the same groups, ironically. Iran did en up with the upper hand by far in Iraq, meaning the US achived LITERALLY the opposite of what they wanted to achive.
When a protestor in hong kong gets shot "the whole world" is on its feet, when SA and USA starve to death 80 000 children in Yemen no one bats an eye.
No, I'm not brainwashed enough to think that shooting a violent protestor is the same as intentionally starving to death a whole goddamned country.
We don't even have to talk about how american police act... that's a whole other dimension of hypocrisy, unfathomable to me personally.
The protestors in Hong Kong were not violent at all, of course. Not a single on harmed a hair on a peace officer's head, or even so much as scratched a pane of glass...
At the time of Gulf War II under W, the population was about 20% Sunni, 20% Kurdish, and 60% Shiite. So if you disarm the minority ruling Sunni establishment and instead pledge to install a democracy, a Shiite government is the logical conclusion.
Since realizing their mistake, the US has attempted to patch together some multi-religious, multi-ethnic government, but these are all destined to failure. The Kurds want to be left to their own devices, the majority Shiites want to rule the south of the country with most of the oil, and they want the Sunnis left out of power in the deserts to the West.
George HW, being smarter than George W, pulled his punches, left Saddam in power, and left him with helicopters to kill enough Shiites to prevent a successful rebellion of the "marsh Arabs", as they were called in news reports back then.
There will continue to be unrest in Iraq and the rest of the middle-east (and I'm including Israel in this, they are as bad as the others on this point) until A) tribalism and B) religion is taken out of politics once and for all.
A democracy is simply not possible unless it's built on an ethical bedrock that has entirely done away with both of these primitive and childish moral systems.
There are very few technological solutions to political problems.
With a horn antenna tuned to the right band and a portable spectrum analyzer, finding a starlink, kuiper or oneweb cpe will not be technically difficult.
Particularly satellite signals, because they're very weak to begin with.
When communication networks can be accessed wirelessly, the devices that can block those communications will simply become part of what we understand as standard communication equipment.
LEO is dominated by 400-500Mhz for milcom, L and C. Resurgence of Ku in LEO is mostly due to regulatory regime already being cleared for satellite internet due to previous entrants, and cheaper hardware for consumer market.
Jammers (to my knowledge) operate by actively producing an inverted copy of the signals it actually sees. That is: it'd be reliant on non-directional signals. Any directionality / beam-forming would make jamming a lot harder, since it makes it a lot harder for the jammers to actually see the signal in the first place (let alone produce an inverted-waveform copy of it).
Jamming also tends to get in the way of other radio communications, so even if it was actually effective against satellite communications, it'd be a last resort and would likely cause all sorts of other issues.
No. Usually, all you need is to do is to send a signal - any signal - on a frequency you want to jam with enough power to overwhelm the target signal. A directional antenna won't get a milliwatt satellite signal if it starts picking up half a kilowatt of random noise, even if that noise is coming from the side. It's essentially a matter of how much power your jammer radiates and how high you can put it. Whether or not jamming interferes with other radio communication depends on how much of the spectrum your jamming signal covers.
There are plenty of other strategies, too (like not sticking to a single frequency, or picking frequencies that are likely to be too valuable to block with such a blunt-force method).
Depends on the wavelength and your surroundings. Imagine yourself wearing a cap that's little too small and half-transparent on the edges, walking on fresh snow, surrounded by snow mounds, trying to spot something on one of the hilltops nearby. So the cap mostly protects you from direct jamming signal, but reflections and bleed are still painful.
Now we're talking here about satellites, in particular LEO satellites, so you need a mass market (or at least commercial-grade) tracking antenna, which will have to look all across the sky and not just point straight up. In urban environments, there's a great chance there will be scores of decent reflectors (buildings) all around you for the jamming signal to bounce off, and as for bands, the ones used by Starlink are ones that are unlikely to be used much for anything else in places like Iraq - so they may as well just jam the whole band. And since Starlink is a commercial service, you won't be able to switch to something the government depends on (not to mention procure new antennas and adjust software on the transceivers).
The usual answer, then, would be a polarized filter and a more narrow aperture (e.g. goggles). The narrower the FOV, the less risk of glare.
That does mean an antenna will have to actively keep itself pointed at a moving point in the sky, but with GPS, a compass, a clock, and each satellite's orbital parameters, that should be a solvable problem.
The harder problem would be for the satellite to pick out the signal coming back from the ground without having to limit itself to a single ground station.
Radios are Kilo/Mega/Gigahertz.
Light is Terahertz.
> The laser works by the same principle as the maser, but produces higher frequency coherent radiation at visible wavelengths.
There are plenty of lasers in the non-visible spectrum, I use IR lasers all the time.
This is how Cubans jammed US milcom and few civilian satellites since nineties
Without the "but verify" part of trust, every additional option is just another name for the same thing
The one advantage that Starlink might have is, it might be a company beyond the reach of the Iraqi government, and therefore less likely to give in to their pressure to close off access. But what we really need is several such companies, not just one.
I don't have any ethical justification to enslave or coerce or control a person. Why should I have any ethical justification to enslave or coerce or control, if a group of people get together (a company) to do something?
> I don't have any ethical justification to enslave or coerce or control a person. Why should I have any ethical justification to enslave or coerce or control, if a group of people get together (a company) to do something?
Who said anything about justification? Profit or power is the motive. Those need no justification to their pursuers.
And for the most brutal dictators: laser-guided bombs are already a thing...
Same goes for laser-guided bombs - those home in on where the laser pointer is pointing, not the pointer itself.
Extralegally, though? All bets are off.
This seems like it'd all be a lot easier to control without technology.
Seriously though: as bad as Trump is, I still think Bush II was by far the worst president of the past 100 years. Trump would have to do something much worse than he's already done to match Bush's accomplishments.
Good luck using Starlink or any other forbidden technology when your skull is being pushed to the ground by their boot
Hint: Not very.
Also, how exactly do you plan to pay your bills to your ISP, when their service is illegal in your country?
The most reliable way to detect ground-to-space transmitters would be with aircraft, since those will have a much easier time crossing paths with the signal (and thus actually being able to see it).
The same thing is happening in Libya after the Obama era bombings. These places weren't democratic paradises before or anything; I'm not saying that. They had corruption and human rights issues -- but they were stable. People who didn't protest against the government and weren't in poverty could usually live in relative peace. You can say the same thing about China to some extent as well.
It is beyond disheartening that innocent people die because of this. I would rather just pay the money, if I must, and let the warheads rust in peace.
But for me, I just focus on the outcomes, not the motives. If Lockheed Martin and Booz Allen Hamilton and Raydeon shareholders are making 100k or 1m or more, and hundreds of thousands of civilians are dying, those are two cold hard facts that can't be ignored.
Either the ends justify the means or they don't, in the eyes of the beholder.
The same is true with the US, ignoring the political angle, it's not motivated to help stabilize countries that are sources of mass migration.
These are access to resources in event of war, and control of trade routes. Such a war would only benefit corporate interests, the people stand little to gain. And control of trade routes is only useful for war and corporate interests.
Then they should pay a fair price for those resources. Any use of force in this matter is unnecessary, and can be effectively boiled down to corporate greed outweighing human empathy.
People may be the pawns on the board... corporations might be more like the knights or the rooks.
Often this "win" is a huge loss for the foreign groups involved. So still a losing situation in my eyes.
If we knock the American tech giants down several pegs, as a hypothetical example, it might be beneficial in some ways. But we're also helping to clear the path for companies like Huawei to fill the void. That in turn, helps China project influence around the globe. Every nation-state in the world wants to position its resources (like corporations) as advantageously as possible, and they'll seize on any and every opportunity to do so.
We might not like wars for oil - we might like the alternatives even less.
Slowing down fellow people is also a loss, and I don't buy that our "best" purposefully takes us further from the goal.
>We might not like wars for oil - we might like the alternatives even less.
Do you think I'm arguing that the US should stop engaging in wars for oil but other countries should go for it? Everyone should find these wars to be despicable and avoided at all costs. Yes, this is difficult. It's impossible if you think that they're necessary to prevent others from doing it.
We shouldn't have gone into Iraq in 2003 in the first place, but we did, so what now?
Our government is going to keep its boot on the neck of Iraq and stay involved over there as long as Iraq still has oil, right? If the problem now is more that we have too little influence, so what? Are we supposed to try regime change again because it worked so well last time?
The current Iraqi regime may not be good, but neither was Saddam. We still should have left Saddam alone, excepting targeted strikes if we ever got good intelligence about WMD programs.
In the case of Iraq (maybe similar for Syria?) I guess that there aren't probably big motivations/interests nor strong cultural similarities for the West to create something similar to a "Marshall Plan" ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marshall_Plan ) to kickstart again the nation and then make it work long-term from both an economic and indirectly social perspective. Therefore, I think that Iraq will just drift more and more towards what will look like the next-best offer(s) (Iran?).
"Water under the bridge ... what can we fuck up next?"
That aside (and no, US/NATO won't learn from that): split Iraq up in three entities (Kurdistan, Sunni and Shia parts), help with the separation, guarantee the agreed upon borders, and then invest lots of money.
> The current Iraqi regime may not be good, but neither was Saddam.
Compared to post-Saddam Iraq, Saddam was good. Good is relative. Want to lose a finger? Of course not. Want to lose a finger instead of losing both legs? Yeah, losing a finger is okay.
People seem to be largely kicking the can down the road until someone else is in office.
It doesn't seem like it, no. If the US was still controlling Iraq, we wouldn't be permitting their current government, which is more or less controlled by Iran.
Whom would benefit from a social media organised protest/riot against the government?
This comes as the Iraqi president Mahdi anounces a potential arms deal with Russia as part of a diverification of strategic allies.
Until now, arms deals were exclusively with US.
Mahdi has campaigned on a theme that US invlovement in Iraq has not been entirely positive.
Isn't imperialism wonderful. It makes me sick and I don't even know a single Iraqi :/
• Kashmir: https://netblocks.org/reports/pakistan-shuts-down-internet-i...
• Russia: https://netblocks.org/reports/evidence-of-internet-disruptio...
• Bangladesh: https://www.economist.com/news/2019/09/04/bangladesh-bans-mo...
• Sudan: https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/06/13/end-mass-...
• London: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/london-tube-...
"Shutting down digital infrastructure in response to a peaceful protest is deeply authoritarian," said Griff Ferris, legal and policy officer at Big Brother Watch."
I've heard they did not shut down internet in Hong Kong as lots of mainland China is routed via Hong Kong...
For example, using the Scuttlebutt network (SSB), you can deliver messages from your contacts, using Bluetooth or just by being on the same wifi. They can be public messages, or encrypted private messages so only certain recipients can decode them. Manyverse (https://manyver.se) is a decent Android app for SSB.
There are other tools like Briar, which I don't know much about, but other people here may be able to help...
However, if you know someone technical out of the country, you can call them and ask them to set something up and get you the details. (Or you can't call them, and there you go).
If you're talking with people on things like Signal or WhatsApp, where phone numbers are user ids, you automatically know their phone number to call them in case the chat service is unreachable.
but I guess it needs internet at least...
When you want a country to be free and democratic, you can't also tell them who to elect. You have to choose one or the other. The United States has often chosen the latter while pretending to want the former, but at least with Iraq they seem to be mostly hands off (in recent years).
I don't the right prior here is "elections = real democracy", for cases like Iraq. The US has long history of installing "democratic" governments that are not actually democratic, but rather military states who violently suppress the people, but support US interests. The list of countries where this has borne out is long, but if you are interested, an easy place to start would be Cold War era South America (Guatemala and El Salvador being two straightforward examples).
Interesting fact: Kermit Roosevelt Jr. a grandson of U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, played the lead role in the CIA-sponsored overthrow of Mohammad Mossadegh, the democratically elected leader of Iran, in August 1953. 
The British drew the map specifically so that they could use the local tensions to divide and conquer.
We're still suffering because of that.
The Sunni minority once ruled but now the Shia majority rule and the government is said to be aligned with Shia-majority Iran.
Seems like it's usually a government that's popular with its people that gets overthrown and replaced by a "democratic" government.
> The regime was characterized by the systematic suppression of political parties and the persecution of dissidents to an extent unprecedented in the history of Chile. Overall, the regime left over 3,000 dead or missing, tortured tens of thousands of prisoners, and drove an estimated 200,000 Chileans into exile.
From the Wikipedia article on Carlos Castillo Armas :
> Upon taking power Castillo Armas, worried that he lacked popular support, attempted to eliminate all opposition. He quickly arrested many thousands of opposition leaders, branding them communists. Detention camps were built to hold the prisoners when the jails exceeded their capacity. Historians have estimated that more than 3,000 people were arrested following the coup, and that approximately 1,000 agricultural workers were killed by Castillo Armas's troops in the province of Tiquisate. Acting on the advice of Dulles, Castillo Armas also detained a number of citizens trying to flee the country. He also created a National Committee of Defense Against Communism (CDNCC), with sweeping powers of arrest, detention, and deportation. Over the next few years, the committee investigated nearly 70,000 people. Many were imprisoned, executed, or "disappeared", frequently without trial.
Those don't sound totalitarian to you?
"Totalitarian regimes are different from other authoritarian ones. The latter denotes a state in which the single power holder – an individual "dictator", a committee or a junta or an otherwise small group of political elite – monopolizes political power. "[The] authoritarian state [...] is only concerned with political power and as long as that is not contested it gives society a certain degree of liberty". Authoritarianism "does not attempt to change the world and human nature". In contrast, a totalitarian regime attempts to control virtually all aspects of the social life, including the economy, education, art, science, private life and morals of citizens."
So Chile and Guatemala were Authoritarian, but not Totalitarian. The practical difference is that an Authoritarian Chilean government kills 3,000 people while the Totalitarian Khmer Rouge kills 1.5 to 2 million of its own people.
"According to a 2001 academic source, the most widely-accepted estimates of excess deaths under the Khmer Rouge range from 1.5 million to 2 million,"
In North Korea, it's hard to estimate because it's a closed society with tight control over information:
"Perhaps from 710,000 to slightly over 3,500,000 people have been murdered, with a mid-estimate of almost 1,600,000. But these figures are little more than educated guesses"
Saying they are the same thing is ridiculous and really soft pedals how insane some communist regimes were.
I feel this is such important context for what followed. It raised such a fervor of hatred toward the communist political body. I still believe this was theft of property from people's families and estates built over many generations of effort.
The bounds of civility had been trampled and vanished. The violent retaliations which followed were outright disgusting.
the ones that come readily to my mind like Iran and Chile don't quite fit that mold.
Wasn't that what happened in Egypt?
2. USA backs a candidate and initially gets a government elected that is favorable to the USA. However, these politicians turn out to be kind of scummy and screw up just about everything.
3. Iran realizes that elections can be influenced (they watched the USA influence the first election), and having lots of paramilitary type forces that are trained in information operations, decides to capitalize. They flood across the porous border to spread propaganda (the current scumbags in government make it so the Iranian propaganda doesn't even have to lie, it just has to point out how much the current guys suck).
4. Iraqi citizens, growing sick of the crappy politicians they elected initially, start listening to the propaganda and elect a government friendly to Iran. This is the first time this has happened in a long time, Iraq has not been allies with Iran for several decades.
5. End result- USA invades, eventually loses influence to Iran. The global hegemony USA got outplayed by a regional hegemony because they backed unethical and incompetent sellouts rather than finding a good candidate.
The different election results in Iraq over the years now point to a chess game between Iran and Saudi Arabia for regional control.
Now instead of Iraq standing between the other two, it's serving as a way to create conflict where the two may eventually fight each other like the Iran-Iraq war in the 80s.
If the U.S. does not get involved in this scenario then the long term strategic outcome of the 2003 Iraq war might be seen differently. On the other hand, if Iran wins and becomes more powerful, the Iraq war will look even worse.
"That's a very volatile part of the world. And if you take down the central government in Iraq, you could easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off. Part of it the Syrians would like to have, the west. Part of eastern Iraq the Iranians would like to claim. Fought over for eight years. In the north, you've got the Kurds. And if the Kurds spin loose and join with Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey. It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq." -- Dick Cheney
From the Wikipedia article:
> Following the US invasion of Iraq, Cheney remained steadfast in his support of the war, stating that it would be an "enormous success story", and made many visits to the country. He often criticized war critics, calling them "opportunists" who were peddling "cynical and pernicious falsehoods" to gain political advantage while US soldiers died in Iraq. In response, Senator John Kerry asserted, "It is hard to name a government official with less credibility on Iraq [than Cheney].
I'm sorry but there are very few "citations" that state that the war was about securing resources for the American "empire". It was primarily about exactly the stated reasons and there is a popular and uncited belief that it was about oil. If you have some scholarly articles that state that it was completely about oil I'd love to see them.
Except that American oil companies didn't get any benefit so how does that make any sense? If we are willing to accept the evidence that oil companies in the US didn't meaningfully benefit, doesn't that whole argument kind of seem silly?
It's bad enough that we invaded under pretenses that really really really should have been obviously incorrect at the time, with no plan, just... I don't know. It seems unnecessary to even bother linking it to oil. It was evil. It was stupid.
Let me start by saying that I don't know much about the history of this period. That being said, I imagine these questions can be answered in two ways:
1. If you don't succeed at doing X, it does not mean that you never intended to do X. Something as chaotic as war will be full of unintended consequences. Maybe American oil companies did not benefit as a result of the war, even though America wanted them to; similar to how ISIS was formed as a result of the war, even though America certainly didn't want it to.
2. I don't think the narrative has ever been that US wanted to directly benefit American oil companies, à la United Fruit Company. The theory is, rather, that the US wanted to ensure that the flow of oil to international markets would not be stopped due to Iraq's actions. Think of it this way: the work US navy does to secure international trading routes is not about directly benefiting US shipping and insurance companies. It is about keeping the wheels of global trade and economy moving. The US companies may benefit from this non-directly, but other nations and companies will benefit from this equally as well. The narrative is not about the US going to war as a colonizer to steal Iraqi oil or get sweetheart deals for US companies. It is that it went to war to ensure continued flow of Iraqi oil to the market and ensure Iraqi government would not throw a wrench in the oil shipments through the region. Ultimately, the reasons for the war, according to this theory, were economical rather than humanitarian or defence-related.
Now I don't know if the above statements are true. I just wanted to bring up the arguments and assertions people make, lest the debate delve into attacking a straw man.
Edit: relevant entry from the wikipedia article:
in 1998, Kristol and Kagan advocated regime change in Iraq throughout the Iraq disarmament process through articles that were published in the New York Times. Following perceived Iraqi unwillingness to co-operate with UN weapons inspections, core members of the PNAC including Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, R. James Woolsey, Elliot Abrams, Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Zoellick, and John Bolton were among the signatories of an open letter initiated by the PNAC to President Bill Clinton calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein. Portraying Saddam Hussein as a threat to the United States, its Middle East allies, and oil resources in the region, and emphasizing the potential danger of any weapons of mass destruction under Iraq's control, the letter asserted that the United States could "no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections." Stating that American policy "cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council," the letter's signatories asserted that "the U.S. has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf." Believing that UN sanctions against Iraq would be an ineffective means of disarming Iraq, PNAC members also wrote a letter to Republican members of the U.S. Congress Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott, urging Congress to act, and supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (H.R.4655) which President Clinton signed into law in October 1998.
The idea that any part of the US government could do the sorts of things attributed to this "hegemony" is palpably ridiculous. Especially "find a good candidate". The US has a system for finding a good candidate to run a country, and it found Donald Trump.
If the hegemony that controls everything has been defeated at every turn for generations, clearly someone's talking bollocks. The more rhetoric like this you consume, the less you can appreciate what's going on.
The invasion also led to the rise of ISIS, which is widely seen as a embarrassment to the USA because they were supposed to be rebuilding a country and ended up allowing a large and deadly terrorist group to form under their noses.
And just to add on, there are literal losses as well. When the Iraqi army retreated from Mosul in 2014, they left behind a bunch of US supplied equipment that ISIS took control of. Iraq has "lost" at least a billion dollars of military equipment in recent years, most of which has been taken by ISIS and enabled terrorism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fall_of_Mosul https://www.newsweek.com/us-military-lost-track-1-billion-wo...
That's...one tenth of one percent of the cost (to the US) of the war.
If I lose a $2000 rifle, and that rifle is then used to massacre a school, was the loss a mere $2000?
I mean, like, you are implying the other 99.9% of spending on the war was harmless or salutary?
IRGC had also announced the Syria as its 35th province.
IRGC and Russian bombing had driven out most of the Sunni's from Southern Syria towards north Syria, close to Turkish borders. and Iran is repopulating the land with Shias from allover from Afghanistan to Lebanon.
IRGC has sort of created a contiguous Shia controlled land mass from Iran, Iraq, Syria to Lebanon. Some geopolitical observers I follow, expect the next will be in Afghanistan, with Afghani Shias against Pakistan controlled Sunni Talibans, as soon as US withdraws from Afghanistan.
- to the people, it means a government that is less corrupt and more accountable to do the people's work; a semi-meritocracy.
- in diplomatic circles, it means whatever Americans and their rich owner-class want. There aren't very many democratic countries allowed; they're usually small and don't have a resource curse.
-- It's a government that got majority of the vote.
This has little to do with corruption/accountability, iraqis tend to vote along sectarian lines. There are more shia, they are better organized, they win.
The same mistake is repeated again and again, even today.