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Mitchell Prothero, a journalist with McClatchy Newspapers, discusses the escalating battle for Tikrit, as the Islamic State fights an odd coalition of Iraqi security forces and Shiite militias led by Iranian officers.

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  • In Iraq, twenty-five years of carnage, suffering, horror, privation, devastation, and we see the results today. After all, it was 1990 when the U.S. government decided it could improve Iraq by bombing the country, followed by a decades of crushing sanctions. But it wasn’t enough so the U.S. overthrew the government and installed a puppet regime. Here we are a quarter century later from the beginnings of war, and every bit of anything the U.S. ever claimed to achieve is gone, as the country is ripped in every direction by civil war and the U.S. installed regime looks to be a goner. And what now? The only thing that everyone seems to really really hate is the U.S. and anyone who was rewarded for their cooperation. I don’t see any real way for Obama to do anything here at all. But it is hard to imagine that the U.S. would just sit by and let whatever happens just happen. What’s next?

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  • The growing interest in cryptocurrency mining in Iran has led the government to recognize it and introduce new rules for the regulation of the cryptocurrency market. The government is close to passing a bill that finalizes these rules and regulations. Mining units had been multiplying in Iran attracted by the subsidized rates of electricity and subsequent reduction of expenses of mining and increased profits. The recognition from the government may be due to the benefit of ease of access that it may provide the government to sources of foreign currency at the time of international sanctions against the country, allowing it to circumvent those. The Iranian Parliament ratified a bill that acknowledged cryptocurrency mining as a legitimate industry. The bill clarifies that the government does consider domestic trade of cryptocurrencies as lawful. It also states that the Central Bank of Iran will not guarantee the value of cryptocurrency and digital coins will not be considered legal tender. Cryptocurrency mining would be permitted in Iran subject to certain conditions. The miners have to operate outside a 30 km radius (about 19 miles) of all provincial centers except Tehran and Esfahan as these will be subject to even more stringent rules. The miners must secure the prior approval of Iran’s Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade. The energy used by the mining units will be charged at the rate at which energy is exported from Iran. Miners will be subject to taxes at the same rate as industrial manufacturing units with exemptions being made to those miners who export mined cryptocurrency and return the revenue to Iran’s economy. Regarding the crypto mining equipment, the miners must follow the rules set by Iran’s standardization and communication authorities. Licenses have not been issued for the import of mining equipment into Iran and a man was arrested on 31st July for smuggling crypto mining equipment worth more than two hundred thousand dollars into Iran. The regulations were essential in the face of a multitude of illegal crypto activities within the country and may prove to be a positive step for Iran. News Source: TheCoinRepublic

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  • As I listen to the radio during the weekday I ask myself, Is there (at present) a media-spun consensus to mutate the term “radical” as only meaning an individual who wants to join the religious extremism of Islamic State in Syria? Therefore making people conclude that “radical means Islamic State extremist” and vice versa? As a consequence, I believe other labels associated with the term may also include: contrarian, gadfly, maverick, rebel, and angry young (wo)man. The final goal, in my opinion, to label all these terms as “terrorist,” thus through the fear of this label bring the potential “radical” or any other term back into the collective instinct for a quiet and obedient statist life. Perhaps Christopher Hitchens was correct when he said in his book Letters to a Young Contrarian: “Radical is a useful and honourable term that comes with various health warnings.” (p.1) Of course we cannot forget Rothbard’s definition of the radical: “Radical in the sense of being in total, root-and-branch opposition to the existing political system and to the State itself. Radical in the sense of having integrated intellectual opposition to the State with a gut hatred of its pervasive and organized system of crime and injustice. Radical in the sense of a deep commitment to the spirit of liberty and antistatism that integrates reason and emotion, heart and soul. Furthermore, in contrast to what seems to be true nowadays, you don’t have to be an anarchist to be radical in our sense, just as you can be an anarchist while missing the radical spark.” http://mises.org/library/do-you-hate-state I could be wrong, but perhaps people aren’t being made aware that there are two types of radical. I say this because, again, I use Hitchens book: “Emile Zola could be the pattern for any serious and humanistic radical, because he not only asserted the inalienable rights of the individual, but generalised his assault to encompass the vile role played by clericalism, by racial hatred, by militarism and by the fetishisation of ‘the nation’ and the state.” (p.5)

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  • I have been reading about and watching the goings on in Iraq this last couple of weeks, with the “terrorist” group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) turning on Iraq and seizing several Iraqi cities, and I have come up with my own theory of what may really be happening there. For over a year different war mongers and NEO-CONS in Washington (McCain, Graham for instance) have been wanting to arm the rebel factions fighting the Assad regime in Syria with better more sophisticated weapons to help topple the Assad government. This has turned out to be very difficult as it has been found out that several of these groups happen to be known terrorist groups and supposed enemies of America, such as ISIS. It’s not so politically correct these days to want to arm Al-Qaeda, especially if you are an American politician. I suspect that ISIS turned their attention to Iraq under the direction of the U.S. State, with the complicity of the Iraqi government. Why would the General of the Iraqi army leave Mosul just as it was about to be attacked? Why has the Iraqi army, trained by Americans and armed with much more sophisticated arms than ISIS, dropped their weapons and run, in a battle where they had 10-1 superiority in manpower alone, not to mention AH-64’s and Blackhawk helicopters? ISIS has now seized these arms and have in their possession the firepower that they need and which politicians in Washington wanted them to have to assist them in the overthrow of Syria. Not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars they stole from the Iraq banks where they invaded. I have no proof that the U.S. State is behind this, but it seems odd to me that the U.S. has not even launched one airstrike, whoever heard of the U.S. not bombing every chance they get? The goal of ISIS seems to be in line with the goal of the U.S. State, to rid the world of the Syrian and Iraqi State, to split them into three separate provinces consisting of Sunni, Shia, and Kurdish, each with their own province. The NEO-CONS get their wish, to arm the ISIS militants with sophisticated American made arms, to defeat the Assad regime, all the while acting like they are so surprised with the situation. The American people, dolts that they are for the most part, have already fallen for this scheme, watching all the talking heads of the MSM who propagate the Empires lies. I am not saying there is no human suffering involved in this wicked scandal, obviously many hundreds if not thousands more innocent Iraqi people are being killed. Again. But I find it almost impossible to believe the U.S. is not behind the whole thing.    

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