Turkey announces completion of the first phase of Operation Claw-Castle in Iraq

The Turkish military “reached the places they needed to reach and captured targets there,” the Defense Ministry said. The operation is aimed at protecting the borders of Turkey, its purpose is “only terrorists”, Ankara assures

Turkey completed the first phase of the military operation “Claw-Castle” against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK, designated a terrorist organization by Ankara) in northern Iraq, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar told Hurriyet.

The Turkish armed forces “reached the places they needed to reach, the land they would control by land and air, and captured targets there,” the minister said. there are many caves, shelters, shelters and so-called headquarters, and captured targets— only the first stage of the operation. “Later this activity will continue <…> until the terrorists are neutralized,— he added.

Turkey announced a military operation against the Kurds on April 18. Castle Claw Campaign began in the east of the country and in northern Iraq. Special forces and the air force are involved in the hostilities, as the Turkish Ministry of Defense stated, “only terrorists” serve as the target.

According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, the operation is aimed at protecting the country's borders. “We do not violate the territorial integrity of Iraq, we have no such intentions,” — he assured.

The PKK was founded in 1978. She advocates national self-determination for Kurds in Turkey. Ankara has been in an armed conflict with the Kurds since 1984.

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In April 2021, the Turkish army carried out another military operation in northern Iraq against the PKK, it involved special forces.

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Turkey launches new ground, air offensive in northern Iraq

class=”MuiTypography-root-229 MuiTypography-h1-234″>Turkey launches new ground, air offensive in northern IraqAssociated PressApril 18, 2022 · 9:00 AM EDT

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar arrives for a meeting of the North Atlantic Council with Georgia and Ukraine at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Feb. 17, 2022.

Olivier Matthys/AP/File photo

Turkey has launched a new ground and air cross-border offensive against Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, that has left at least 19 suspected Kurdish rebels dead and has wounded at least four Turkish soldiers, Turkey’s defense minister said Monday.

Turkish jets and artillery struck suspected targets of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, and commando troops — supported by helicopters and drones — then crossed into the region by land or were airlifted by helicopters, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said in a video posted on the ministry’s website.

Akar said the jets successfully struck shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, ammunition depots and headquarters belonging to the PKK. The group maintains bases in northern Iraq and has used the territory for attacks on Turkey.

At least 19 militants were killed while four Turkish troops were wounded during the offensive, the ministry said. There was no immediate comment from the Kurdish militant group on the incursion and the defense ministry statement couldn't be verified independently.

Turkey has conducted numerous cross-border aerial and ground operations against the PKK over the past decades. The latest offensive, named Operation Claw Lock, was centered in northern Iraq’s Metina, Zap and Avashin-Basyan regions.

There was no information on the number of troops and jets involved in the latest incursion.

“Our heroic commandoes and maroon berets — supported by attack helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles, armed unmanned aerial vehicles — arrived on the scene by land and by air and captured the determined targets,” Akar said in a second video. “Many terrorists were neutralized.”

“At this point we have reached, all planned targets have been captured,” he said.

The Defense Ministry said the new offensive was launched after it was determined that the militants were regrouping and preparing for a “large-scale attack.”

The offensive was carried out in coordination with Turkey’s “friends and allies,” the ministry added, but didn't elaborate. Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met with Masrour Barzani, the prime minister of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region, which controls the areas that were attacked.

The Turkish minister said the incursion was targeting “terrorists” and that “maximum sensitivity” was being shown to avoid damage to civilians and cultural and religious structures.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed since the PKK, which is designated a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union, began an insurgency in Turkey’s majority Kurdish southeast region in 1984.

Turkey launches Claw-Castle military operation against Kurds in Iraq

As part of a military operation, the Turkish military shelled three areas in northern Iraq – Metina, Zap and Avasin-Basyan. It involves special forces and the air force. Aircraft shelled shelters, ammunition depots and headquarters of the Kurds launched the military operation “Claw-Castle” against the Kurds in Iraq” />

The Turkish Armed Forces launched the military operation “Claw-Castle” against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq, the press service of the Turkish Ministry of Defense reported.

“In order to neutralize the PKK and other terrorist elements, eliminate terrorist attacks against our people and security forces from northern Iraq, and ensure the security of our borders, in accordance with our right to self-defense arising from Art. 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, against terrorist targets in northern Iraq (in the so-called areas of Metina, Zap and Avasin-Basyan), Operation Claw-Castle was launched,— the message says.

According to the Ministry of Defense, special forces and the air force are involved in the operation. Turkish aircraft fired on shelters, bunkers, tunnels, ammunition depots and headquarters belonging to the PKK, the ministry specified.

The Turkish Defense Ministry noted that the purpose of this operation was “only terrorists.” (The Kurdistan Workers' Party has been designated a terrorist organization in Turkey and several other countries.)

Last April, the Turkish army conducted another military operation in northern Iraq against the PKK — with the participation of Turkish special forces. The military launched airstrikes on rebel positions, the Turkish Defense Ministry reported.

The PKK was founded in 1978. She advocates national self-determination for Kurds in Turkey. At the same time, the country's authorities consider the organization a terrorist organization. The activities of the PKK are deployed on the territory of two more states, where many Kurds live,— Syria and Iraq.

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A weakened ISIS persists in central Iraq

class=”MuiTypography-root-134 MuiTypography-h1-139″>A weakened ISIS persists in central Iraq

Gone are the powerful days of ISIS in Iraq. Now, motley gangs of ISIS militants continue to launch hit-and-run attacks — sporadically targeting infrastructure and killing and intimidating security forces and vulnerable citizens.

The WorldApril 12, 2022 · 3:30 PM EDT

A convoy of Iraqi soldiers drives near Lheiban, in central Iraq. 

Yasmine Mosimann/The World

When Sara Selim heard the iron gate creak open as she got ready for bed one night in October last year, a pang of fear instantly gripped the 22-year-old. 

Residents of the Iraqi Kurdish village of Lheiban know better than to leave their houses when the sun sets behind the slopes of nearby Qarachogh mountain. 

It’s been over four years since ISIS was declared territorially defeated in Iraq, but bands of militants still roam these lands. 

Related: After years of conflict and rebuilding, Mosul University's Central Library marks new beginning

Before Selim could check the door, four armed men in military fatigues barged into the house.

“Where’s Mam Hassan?” the militants screamed, she said.

The men were looking for her father-in-law, Hassan Mohammad Hassan, the village’s mokhtar or community leader. The militants were after Hassan for working with Kurdish Peshmerga forces, the military force of Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. 

In this area, ISIS takes advantage of the security gaps created by territorial disputes between the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region and the federal Iraqi government — often leaving villagers to fend for themselves. 

The family told the militants that Hassan was out at his farm, but the men didn’t believe them. They made Selim guide them room by room to look for her husband's father.

“[The militants] said, ‘If you aren’t going to tell us where Hassan is, we are going to take [the child],’ and grabbed him by the arm."

Sara Selim, 22, Lheiban, Iraq 

“They said, ‘If you aren’t going to tell us where Hassan is, we are going to take [the child],’ and grabbed him by the arm,” she said, pointing to Hassan’s 5-year-old son, Mohammad. But before long, word got out about the four militants and villagers managed to chase them out. 

Related: Iraqi mothers risk it all to bring justice for their slain activist sons

Hassan Mohammed Hassan, Lheiban village’s community leader, poses for a picture among sheep at his farm, with his 5-year-old son Mohammed, nicknamed Kako. The property borders a small oil field where Hassan works in security at night. 

Credit:

Yasmine Mosimann/ The World

This type of frenzied attack is typical of ISIS.

Gone is the powerful ISIS organization that took over more than a third of Iraq and Syria. Now, motley gangs launch hit-and-run attacks — sporadically targeting infrastructure, and killing and intimidating security forces and vulnerable citizens. 

ISIS militants attacked a prison in Syria in January. A day later, in Iraq, the group waged a deadly attack on Iraqi armed forces. These incidents stoked fears that ISIS might be staging a comeback. 

The attack on the prison complex, known as al-Sinaa or Gweiran prison, was the largest since the group was declared territorially defeated.

Related: ‘Strangers in their own land’: Iraqi Yazidis and their plight, 7 years on from genocide

But according to Michael Knights, a fellow at the Washington Institute, ISIS has never been weaker in Iraq. 

“At the moment, Islamic State [ISIS]attacks in Iraq are at the lowest level — not just in terms of the numbers, but also in terms of the complexity and effectiveness."

Michael Knights, fellow, Washington Institute

“At the moment, Islamic State [ISIS] attacks in Iraq are at the lowest level — not just in terms of the numbers, but also in terms of the complexity and effectiveness,” Knights said.  

Knights, who co-authored a study on the attack metrics of the insurgency, said this is a result of pressure from antiterrorism operations, including the killing of ISIS leaders, and the expansion of security forces into remote rural areas. 

In February, ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Qurayshi blew himself up during a US commando raid in northwest Syria, where he’d been in hiding. His replacement has been announced, but little is known about him. 

The group has still been able to launch isolated fatal attacks, but in many villages like Lheiban, intimidation tactics are more common than mass carnage.

Villagers describe the fear that plagues farming in areas stalked by ISIS militants. 

Credit:

Yasmine Mosimann

Iraqi commander Abdallah Attieh said that right now, ISIS has no power.

“They might carry out a few attacks occasionally, " Attieh said, “but they can’t hold territory for more than 10 minutes.”

He said militants descend from their cave hideouts in the nearby mountains to demand food and protection money from local villagers.

Related: ‘I had no life left here’: Iraqi Kurds are at the center of the migration crisis in Europe

“They might carry out a few attacks occasionally, but they can’t hold territory for more than 10 minutes.”

Iraqi commander Abdallah Attieh

Iraqi commander Abdallah Attieh sits behind his desk at a military base in Makhmour. 

Credit:

Yasmine Mosimann/ The World

Villages like Lheiban often get caught up in these disputes, falling victim to these security gaps. 

One night in December, when a shepherd warned Hassan of over 25 militants descending from the mountain toward the village, the community leader called both security forces to warn them of the imminent attack. 

“I called both Peshmerga forces and the army. They both said 'it’s disputed territory — we can’t move in without coordination.' … We were helpless. And the government wouldn’t come, so what do we do?"

Hassan Mohammad Hassan, community leader, Lheiban, Iraq

“I called both Peshmerga forces and the army. They both said 'It’s disputed territory — we can’t move in without coordination,'” Hassan said. 

So, the men of the village prepared for the attack. They gathered weapons, night-vision goggles and took to the rooftops. 

“We were helpless. And the government wouldn’t come, so what do we do?”

The men engaged in an all-night firefight with the militants. Security forces finally showed up at 5 a.m., hours after the attack began. 

An Iraqi soldier at a base in Makhmour stands in front of framed pictures of armed forces killed in action. 

Credit:

Yasmine Mosimann/ The World

Hassan said he is disappointed in both forces but is relieved that, today,  after three separate ISIS attacks, both Iraqi military and Kurdish outposts are now positioned at opposite ends of Lheiban.

Officials say these outposts and newly established joint brigades will help secure the disputed territories.

But the lingering effects of the terrorist attacks endure in areas where ISIS has had a presence.

More than half of Lheiban’s inhabitants have fled.

Mohammed Hassan, 5, nicknamed Kako, plays with an assault rifle by his father Hassan Mohammed Hassan. 

Credit:

Yasmine Mosimann/ The World

Those who remain say they are constantly on edge.

By the gate of the house, 5-year-old Mohammed plays with his father’s assault rifle. 

His family said the child isn’t able to shake the feeling that the "scary men" will return. 

American facility in northern Iraq hit by ballistic missiles

Sources speak of an attack from Iran

Rockets fell near the US consulate in the city of Erbil in northern Iraq. US and Iraqi officials say there have been no reports of casualties in the attack, which one source said was launched from Iranian territory.

Photo: Frame from video

As many as 12 ballistic missiles hit the capital of Iraqi Kurdistan, Erbil, in northern Iraq, with several of them reportedly falling near the US consulate.

According to The Guardian, a US official said the missiles were launched from neighboring Iran early Sunday morning, but there were no reports of casualties.

Iraqi and US officials gave different estimates of the damage. One U.S. source stated that there was no damage or casualties at any U.S. government site, and that there was no indication that the target was the new consulate building, which is currently unoccupied.

Iraqi official in Baghdad, he first stated that several rockets hit the consulate and that it was the target of the rocket attack. Later, Louk Ghafari, head of the Kurdistan Foreign Media Agency, stated that none of the missiles hit the US facility, but the areas around the complex were hit.

Residents of Erbil have posted videos on the Internet showing several powerful explosions, and some of them said that the explosions shook their houses. Reuters was unable to independently verify the authenticity of the videos.

A US Defense Department spokesman, who requested anonymity, said it was not known exactly how many missiles were fired or where they landed. A US State Department spokesman called it “an outrageous attack on Iraqi sovereignty and violence.”

According to a statement by the Kurdistan Regional Government, the missiles were fired from “the east outside the borders of Iraq” at the new US consulate building and residential areas. Buildings and houses were damaged in the attack, and one person was “slightly injured,” the statement said. As CNN notes in this regard, although the statement does not name the country, Iran borders Iraq in the east. No claims of responsibility for the attack have yet been reported.

“Several missiles fell on the city of Erbil,” Erbil Governor Omid Khoshnav said, quoted by the Iraqi news agency INA. The governor said it was unclear whether the intended target was the US consulate or the airport where the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) is based.

“We condemn this terrorist attack committed against several sectors of Erbil and urge the residents to remain calm,” Kurdistan Prime Minister Masrour Barzani said in a statement.

The attack came days after an Israeli strike near Damascus, when two members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps were killed in Syria.

Iranian state news agency IRNA quoted Iraqi media as acknowledging the attacks, without specifying where they came from committed.

Satellite TV station Kurdistan24, located near the US Consulate, went on air from their studio shortly after the attack, showing broken glass and debris on the floor of their studio.

In the past, U.S. forces stationed at the Erbil International Airport complex have been hit repeatedly by rockets and drones in which U.S. officials blame Iran-linked militia groups, but there have been no such attacks for months.

The city of Erbil has been caught in the crossroads of tensions between Iran and the United States in the past. In January 2020, a military base hosting US forces in Erbil was one of two Iraqi bases that came under rocket fire from Iran in retaliation for the American assassination of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. As a result of the 2020 attack, no one from the American personnel was killed, reminds CNN. An Iranian-backed militia claimed responsibility for the February 2021 rocket attack on coalition forces in Erbil. One civilian contractor was killed, and a US soldier and several US contractors were injured.

Iraq has been rocked by chronic instability since the 2017 defeat of the Sunni Islamist group Islamic State (a terrorist organization banned in the Russian Federation) as a result of the actions of a coalition of Iraqi , the US-led and Iranian-backed forces.

Iraqi political parties, most of which have an armed wing, are also involved in tense negotiations to form a government after the October elections.

Shiite groups close to Iran militias are privately warned that they will resort to violence if left outside any governing coalition, writes The Guardian.

Источник www.mk.ru

Joe Biden misspoke in interview, confusing Afghanistan with Iraq and Ukraine

Photo: pixabay.com

US President Joe Biden in an interview with NBC called Afghanistan first Ukraine and then Iraq. The American leader confused the countries when answering a question about the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, after a 20-year military campaign.

“We did not have any opportunity to unite Ukraine. That is, excuse me, Iraq. Afghanistan! I emphasize that it was impossible to achieve such results,” Biden said.

Let us recall that after the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, the administration of the current President of America was severely criticized. In particular, they were accused of numerous casualties that occurred during last year's withdrawal of military contingent and civilian personnel from Afghanistan.

Earlier, the former doctor of the US presidents, Ronnie Jackson, along with his colleagues in the Republican Party, called on the head of America, Joseph Biden to follow the example of his predecessor and take the Montreal Cognitive Test.

Источник www.mk.ru

UAE authorities ban Belavia from transporting citizens of Syria and Iraq

The airline said it has tightened visa controls on all flights. Earlier, against the background of the migration crisis on the border of Belarus and Poland, the Turkish authorities banned Belavia from transporting Iraqis and Syrians

Belarusian airline Belavia will not accept citizens of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Syria on board aircraft flying from Dubai to Belarus, according to a statement published on the company's website.

Belavia; notes that such a measure was taken “ in accordance with the decision of the competent authorities of the UAE '', the ban is in effect from November 14.

In this regard, Belavia strengthens control over the verification of documents during check-in of passengers for flights from Dubai. Passengers subject to this prohibition will be able to refund the full cost of air tickets at the place of purchase '', & mdash; the statement reads.

Belavia performs regular flights Minsk & mdash; Dubai from February 2021. In the summertime, when Dubai was 'low' the tourist season, the airline operated three flights a week, and since October, after the growth in demand for travel to the UAE, & mdash; five flights a week.

The company explains that most of the seats on flights Minsk & mdash; Dubai is sold in blocks to tour operators, the number of tickets sold with the starting point of the trip is “ Dubai '' was minimal.

Belavia also stated that she did not perform regular or charter flights to Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria and “ never facilitated the transportation of illegal migrants to the Republic of Belarus. ''

Earlier, on November 12, the airline said that the Turkish authorities had forbidden it to take on board the aircraft traveling to Belarus, citizens of Iraq, Syria and Yemen. Belavia operates flights to Minsk from Istanbul, which is considered one of the largest transfer hubs in Europe and the Middle East.

The Turkish airline Turkish also announced its refusal to carry citizens of Iraq, Syria and Yemen to Minsk Airlines, and the authorities of Turkey and Poland agreed to cooperate in solving the problem of the migration crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border.

The crisis on the border of the two countries began in early November. The situation escalated on November 8, when several thousand migrants approached the border with Poland in Belarus, wishing to enter the EU. Migrants, mostly from the Middle East, attempted to cross the border and set up camp in the border zone.

Poland mobilized additional military units to guard the border and increased the number of border guards in the area where migrants gather. President of the country Andrzej Duda accused the Belarusian authorities of deliberately sending migrants to the border.

President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, in response, said that migrants were deliberately brought into Belarus by some transit countries. “ There are dozens of transients who throw people up, & mdash; these are Germans and, first of all, Poles, also Ukrainians, Lithuanians. That is, it has its own mafia structure, which provides transit '', & mdash; said Lukashenko.

Last week, the head of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said that in response to the migration crisis, the EU and the US are preparing a new package of sanctions against Belarus. Bloomberg reported that the sanctions may include airlines that facilitate the transport of migrants to Belarus, as well as the insurance sector of Belarus. The agency's source said that the Russian Aeroflot may also be on the sanctions list. Later at Aeroflot denied accusations of involvement in the transport of migrants and declared their readiness to defend their position in court.

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Drone attack on Iraq’s prime minister raises concerns of more violence

class=”MuiTypography-root-133 MuiTypography-h1-138″>Drone attack on Iraq’s prime minister raises concerns of more violence

On Sunday, three drones laden with explosives targeted the home of Iraq’s prime minister. He survived unscathed, but the brazen attack has raised concerns about an escalation in violence.

The WorldNovember 9, 2021 · 11:30 AM EST

Iraqi Security forces close the heavily fortified Green Zone as they tightened security measures hours after the assassination attempt on the prime minister in Baghdad, Iraq, Nov. 7, 2021.

Hadi Mizban/AP

Helicopters circled the sky and armored vehicles cruised the streets of the Iraqi capital on Sunday, after a drone attack targeted the home of Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi.

Officials in Iraq described the event as an attempted assassination.

Kadhimi wasn’t seriously hurt, but several of his guards were injured, according to media reports.

Experts say this is the first time since the US-led invasion of 2003 that a prime minister has been targeted in such a brazen and public way. It has raised concerns of an escalation of violence in the country.

Shortly after the news broke, in a televised message, Kadhimi reassured the public that he was safe. He called for calm, adding that one “can’t build a country or a future with cowardly rocket and drone attacks.”

Political tension

Tensions were high in Iraq, even before Sunday’s drone strike.

Last Friday, Shiite political parties in Iraq — backed by Iran — held protests near Baghdad’s Green Zone, where politicians and foreign embassies are based.

Security forces fired at the protesters, killing and injuring several people.

Shiite parties and their supporters are disputing the results of last month’s parliamentary elections in Iraq.

Those parties suffered a major defeat, losing two-thirds of their seats in parliament.

Related: Early results show record low turnout in Iraq's election

“For [Shiite parties], this is a major problem, because not only is their legitimacy  being completely undermined by the people, but also having less votes and less seats mean they might lose their access to the state itself. And if they lose access to the state, they will lose access to the resources from the state."

Zeinab Shuker, Iraq analyst Sam Houston State University

“For them, this is a major problem, because not only their legitimacy is being completely undermined by the people, but also having less votes and less seats mean they might lose their access to the state itself. And if they lose access to the state, they will lose access to the resources from the state,” said Zeinab Shuker, an Iraq analyst at Sam Houston State University.

In the past few years, Shiite parties close to Iran have faced setbacks, she said.

A drop in oil prices means less money going into government coffers. And then, there is ISIS, which has largely been defeated in Iraq. That means Iraqi Shiite militias have lost a big reason for their existence.

“So, what else? Right? There’s nothing else to kind of mobilize the Shia groups, the Shia population, to find an enemy,” Shuker said.

No enemy, less resources, less access to the parliament; and so now, these Shiite groups are rejecting the results of the last election.

Shuker sees the attack on the prime minister as a message to Muqtada al-Sadr, the Shiite leader who’s been critical of Iran’s involvement in Iraq. His political party was the big winner in the recent election.

“It sends a message to al-Sadr that you should either include us in this government or we’re going to burn it all down,” she said.

No group has officially claimed responsibility for Sunday’s attack. But just hours before the attack, Qais al-Khazali, the leader of Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, one of the Shiite groups, publicly threatened the prime minister.

“The blood of martyrs is to hold you accountable,” he said at the funeral of one of the protesters killed last Friday.

“The protesters only had one demand against fraud in elections. Responding [with live fire] means you are the first responsible for this fraud. […] Avenging the blood of the martyrs is our responsibility and we will do this by putting you on trial.”

Related: Drought in Iraq and Syria could totally collapse food system for millions, aid groups warn

Iraqis worry about more violence

Ruba Ali al-Hassani, a researcher at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom, said this is the first time since the US-led invasion of 2003 that an Iraqi prime minister has been so directly targeted. And that the attack has become public.

Hassani has been following the reaction from Iraqis and she says people are worried about what comes next.

“Iraqis have tasted the bitterness of civil war and they don’t want it to happen again, but they do want accountability.”

Ruba Ali al-Hassani, researcher, Lancaster University

“Iraqis have tasted the bitterness of civil war and they don’t want it to happen again,” she said, “but they do want accountability.”

She added that one question on the minds of many Iraqis is, “if the prime minister, with all the security, with all the military apparatus under his arms — he is the commander in chief — if he is unsafe, how safe is the average or poor Iraqi?”

Related: Kurds grapple with US troop drawdown in Iraq

Election officials have not officially announced the results of October’s election.

That needs to happen before a new government is put in place.

Following the attack, a flurry of condemnations poured in from around the world. Among them, President Joe Biden, who said he has instructed his national security team to offer help with the investigation.

“Rocket attacks aren’t a new development in Iraq, but during the time of government negotiation, that’s what makes it more dangerous.”

Hamzeh Hadad, political analyst, Baghdad, Iraq

“Rocket attacks aren’t a new development in Iraq,” said Hamzeh Hadad, political analyst based in Baghdad, “but during the time of government negotiation, that’s what makes it more dangerous.”

US opens borders to fully vaccinated travelers from a list of countries

class=”MuiTypography-root-228 MuiTypography-h1-233″>US opens borders to fully vaccinated travelers from a list of countriesThe WorldNovember 8, 2021 · 11:30 AM EST

Passengers wait to board a plane for New York at the Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, after the US lifted travel restrictions from a long list of countries, Nov. 8, 2021.

Christophe Ena/AP

Top of The World — our morning news roundup written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

United States
Starting today, country-specific travel bans to the United States, prompted 20 months ago by COVID-19 concerns, are ending. The US is now allowing fully vaccinated foreign travelers into the country, including those from Brazil, China, India, several European countries, South Africa and the UK. But as a large part of the world population remains unvaccinated — in part due to lack of access to the shots — the US will permit unvaccinated international travelers, including those from 50 countries where less than 10% of people have been vaccinated, to enter the country only for humanitarian or emergency reasons. The US is also reopening land borders with Mexico and Canada for those who have been vaccinated.

Nicaragua
Preliminary results of the Nicaraguan general elections suggest that President Daniel Ortega is ahead and leading by a wide margin, obtaining 75% of the total vote, according to the president of the Supreme Electoral Council. In a vote that has been called a “pantomime” by US president Joe Biden, little-known candidates trailed behind. Potential opponents were jailed in the months leading up to the election. Ortega’s party, the Sandinista Front, and its allies control Congress and all government institutions.

Iraq
Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Iraq’s prime minister, survived a drone assasination attempt targeting his residence in the Baghdad Green Zone, with at least six members of Kadhimi’s security team left wounded. The attack is raising fears of wider instability in the country after disputed results in the October parliamentary elections. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Kadhimi has vowed to find those responsible. A top Iranian general visited Baghdad after the assassination attempt, saying Tehran and its allies had nothing to do with the attack.

From The WorldCricket fans around the globe rejoice as competition heats up in T20 World Cup

Pakistan's captain Babar Azam, right, and teammate Shadab Khan leave the field after their win in the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match against Scotland in Sharjah, UAE, Nov. 7, 2021.

Credit:

Aijaz Rahi/AP

Of the estimated 2.5 billion people around the world who follow cricket, many have been tuned into the men’s cricket T20 World Cup for the past few weeks. The matches are making headlines both on and off the field, including the Afghan team playing for the first time since the Taliban takeover back home. "People were crying," said Bashir Ahmad Gwakh, who reports on Pakistan for Radio Free Europe. "Even the Afghan cricket team captain was crying when the national anthem was played." Listen to the story by The World's Bianca Hillier. 🎧

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Double Take

A human face to the cocaine industry.

That's not something you hear about every day. But viral TikTok videos are doing just that, with people from the Catatumbo region of Colombia posting videos of their everyday lives. A BBC report shows that they're not kingpins of powerful cartels, but farmers just trying to escape poverty.

In case you missed itListen: Chinese tennis star silenced after #MeToo accusations

China's Shuai Peng serves the ball to France's Caroline Garcia during their second-round match of the French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, May 31, 2018, in Paris. 

Credit:

Michel Euler/AP/File

The latest high-profile #MeToo case in China involves a tennis star making accusations against a former high-level Communist Party official. The Chinese government has attempted to silence the tennis star, but activists within China and the diaspora continue to share the story. And, a monthslong drought in parts of Kenya is endangering the livelihoods of millions of people who rely on livestock. Scientists say drought occurs more often due to climate change. Kenya, like many African countries, is requesting more climate finance to help communities at the COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland. Plus, we get a taste of the first-ever Habibi Festival of contemporary Arab music, with a special song by Alsarah and the Nubatones, written in 2019 in solidarity with fellow Sudanese protesters.

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Is the US ready for the rising tide of mercenaries?

Is the US ready for the rising tide of mercenaries?

War is getting sneakier. And mercenaries could be changing war in ways that the US might not be prepared for.

Host
Laicie Heeley

Producer
Ruth Morris

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A boy walks near his building, which was damaged during fighting between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russia separatists as an armored personnel carrier (APC) of the Ukrainian armed forces stands near by in Avdeyevka near Donetsk, Eastern Ukraine, June 7, 2015.

Credit:

Gleb Garanich/Reuters

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The Things That Go Boom podcast is a co-production of PRX and Inkstick Media, and is a partner of The World. This season on the podcast: What kinds of security risks are building out there? We’ll look at misinformation, shadow warfare and even ask if democracy is still in vogue.

In February of 2014, when war broke out in Eastern Ukraine, the top brass of the Russian army hatched a plan to support pro-Russia separatists fighting the government. Russia sent in what came to be called “little green men” — Russian soldiers, but in unmarked green uniforms.

And — they sent in a small band of mercenaries called “Wagner Group.”

Wagner Group only played a small role in the conflict, which led to the Russian annexation of Crimea. But the Russian generals deemed the mercenary experiment a success. 

Wagner became a mercenary army with about 5,000 members, active in about 12 different countries, from Syria, where it has protected oil fields for President Bashar al-Assad, to Venezuela, where it has provided security for President Nicolás Maduro, and all over Africa.

Today, these mercenaries could be changing war in ways that the US might not be prepared for. 

Episode 1: ‘World War C’: How did national security miss the coronavirus? 

Sean McFate is a professor at Georgetown University and a former paratrooper. He served under generals Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus during his years in the US 82nd Airborne Division.

“But then I got out and went to, what they say, the dark side,” McFate said. “And I became a private military contractor, a paramilitary, some would say mercenary … to basically fight wars in Africa.”

Some of that fighting was for the US government — but some of it wasn’t. 

“It opened my eyes to … how wars are being fought,” he said.

The situation in Ukraine in 2014, when soldiers in unmarked green uniforms began popping up in the conflict, is useful to understand what McFate means. Because the Kremlin wasn’t openly sending troops, what was happening on the ground didn’t immediately look like a war between Ukraine and Russia — and the international community only realized what was happening once it was too late.

“If they had blitzkrieged directly into Ukraine, there would have been huge international outrage, the UN would have gotten involved, and it would have stymied their progress,” McFate said. “In this way, they just kind of stole Eastern Ukraine.” 

Episode 2: Was the US sleeping through China’s rise?

War is getting sneakier. We live in a global information age where weapons that give you plausible deniability are more powerful than firepower. And very few things offer better plausible deniability than mercenaries.

Why? If the Russian army takes a big hit, the Kremlin has a PR problem on its hands. If it’s Wagner contractors, the Russian government can deflect the blame. 

“Plausible deniability” isn’t the only reason Russia is using mercenaries. At the height of the Cold War, the Soviet Union’s Red Army was the largest in the world — bigger, even, than the United States, though, the US Naval and Air Forces seem to have balanced things out. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia’s new economy and its military took a big hit. 

But Russia seems to know how to stretch a limited budget a long way — that’s one reason why the use of mercenaries is such an attractive tool. Generally, private military contractors are considered cheap — you don’t have to pay for their training, employ them year-round, or pay veterans’ benefits, and in most cases, they come with their own weapons. 

And Russia isn’t the only country using mercenaries.

Related: It’s time for the US to rethink Huntington’s philosophy: Part I

“This rising tide of mercenaries — eventually, in a decade or two, we’ll get to a point where war is privatized, where anybody who can swipe a big enough check can become a superpower,” warned McFate. 

Of course, the US isn’t an innocent bystander. Blackwater, a private military company contracted by the US, caused a scandal in Iraq when contractors opened fire on civilians in the 2007 Nisour Square Massacre.

Blackwater Chief Executive Erik Prince holds a photograph of the remains of a blown up vehicle in Iraq while testifying before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on security contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan on Capitol Hill in Washington, October 2, 2007.

Credit:

Larry Downing/Reuters

Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, has recently been pushing Washington to privatize the entire war in Afghanistan. Such a move wouldn’t likely save money, but there could be more menacing benefits. A Brookings Institution report found that contractor deaths are not listed on public rolls, and they’re rarely mentioned by the media. Plus, these firms aren’t subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, so hiding information from journalists is also much easier.

So far, the US hasn’t taken Prince’s advice — but it has signed more than 3,000 contracts with private military firms over the last decade, employing tens of thousands of people.

Most of these people aren’t armed mercenaries. They perform support tasks like training, cooking and delivering supplies. 

But the problem is what happens when those contractors themselves need protection. The US Army doesn’t provide any armed help, so contractors often need to hire their own security. A Congressional investigation from 2010 found that one US contractor relied on Afghan “warlords, strongmen, commanders, and militia leaders, who compete[d] with the Afghan government for power and authority.”

In 2010, The New York Times wrote that there are strong suspicions that an Afghan company, which provided protection to NATO convoys, used American money to bribe the Taliban to attack those same convoys — just to make sure the demand for protection remained high.

A NATO official in Kabul said it most clearly: “We’re funding both sides of the war.”

“We’ve helped create a whole global mercenary marketplace,” said McFate. 

Last season on Things That Go Boom: Nothing good happens after ‘nuclear midnight’

It might be terrifying to think of a world where individuals can go out and hire mercenaries. But we already live in a world where organizations like Wagner Group can fight wars more or less in secret.

So, how does the US military deal with this problem?

“When Americans think about war, our model for war is World War II. We call it ‘the good war.’ It’s what we teach in war colleges,” McFate said, adding that World War II still informs how American generals think about the future of war.

Right now, the US is still mostly stocking its shelves for the apocalypse — buying the kind of big, expensive things it thinks it might need for WWIII. But, McFate says, WWIII isn’t going to look anything like WWII. And US adversaries are investing their own resources completely differently.

“What they’re doing is they’re investing in other places, like the troll factory, their internet hackers, Wagner Group, other sort of clandestine means.” 

And that means something in the US has to change.

Related: Is a US-China nuclear conflict likely?

“We don’t need to scrap … our superlative conventional forces. We have the best in the world, but we don’t need $13 billion new aircraft carriers either,” McFate said. “So, let’s stop throwing money into things that we’re already good at. Let’s throw money into things we need help in. And so, that includes strategic communication.” 

A lot of the world has moved on to a new form of war — one it’s already actively fighting in the shadows. And the US is still sitting in its bunker, waiting for the blitz.

“What we need to do is we need to update the way we think about war,” McFate said. “If war is going underground to the shadows, we have to go into the ground and punch back. So, how do we fight secret wars, which is where warfare is today, and not lose your Democratic soul? That’s the discourse we should be having, not how many F-35s we need — that’s the discourse Lockheed wants you to have.”

This isn’t the whole story. To hear more, including what a hot dog salesman and actress Mia Farrow have to do with all of this, listen above and subscribe to the Things That Go Boom podcast

Trippie Redd – The Jungle Book Lyrics

Play this song

[Intro: Lil Wop & Quavo]
This beat from Murda (Murda)
That’s it, that’s it right there
Hey, ayy
Ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy, ayy

[Chorus: Lil Wop]
We the Taliban blowing shit up like Saddam, ayy
Bitch, I keep the chopper on me, I’m heavily armed, ayy
And I’m from Chiraq, we got guns like Iraq
We’ll take your shit and when you come we make you buy it back
I just put Chanel on my lil’ bitch, that bitch like five racks
I just told her, “Go pick up the pack,” and she gon’ fly back
Big stick with a big clip, make you back, back
In a coupe with the stick shift, we be ridin’ fast

[Post-Chorus: Trippie Redd]
Yeah, we gon’ pull up with some big guns
Yeah, bitch, I’m Big 14, I keep some big drums, yeah
I like counting green, I got some green thumbs
Think I got pneumonia in my fists, I see the symptoms, yeah

[Interlude: Trippie Redd]
Uh, Big 14, know what the fuck going on, lil’ bitch
Gang, gang, uh
Shoot you, take your chain, chain
Uh
We ’bout all that action
We ’bout all that action
We ’bout all that action, nigga
We ’bout all that action
We ’bout all that action
We ’bout all that action

[Verse: Trippie Redd]
Smoking ’til my lungs hurt, uh
I count all this guap until my thumbs hurt, yeah
Bitch, I’m Big 14, that’s on my brother, yeah
I can see your face right on this plain shirt, yeah
I want all the love but all this love hurt, yeah
All these pussy niggas mad, they butthurt, yeah
I can read your mind, you niggas cluttered
I been eatin’ good pussy, nigga, on my supper, yeah
Yeah, bitch, I’m the shit
I’m a walking lick but you niggas ain’t takin’ shit
I’ma pull up with that chopper, mops out, do a hit
Drill time, yeah, nigga, kill time, yeah
I might kill slime, yeah, on a kill grind, yeah
On a killstreak, uh
Man, these pussy ass niggas, man, they kill me
I been drippin’ sauce, lil’ bitch, hella filthy
Got a mink coat ’cause it was gettin’ chilly

[Outro: Trippie Redd]
Uh, yeah, uh
When it’s kill time, drill time, we kill slimes
On a big grind, and we big time
Big time, big time, yeah, we big time
Yeah, we big time (We ’bout all that action, we ’bout all that action)
Pull up on the scene, you get killed, slime, ayy (We ’bout all that action, we ’bout all that action)
Pull up on that scene, you get (We ’bout all that action, we ’bout all that action)
Uh, you get drilled, you get drilled for real, you get
You get killed for real, you get killed for real
You get spilled for real, yeah

Offset – North Star Lyrics

[Intro: Offset]
Shit got real, we was standin’ in the rain, woah (Real)
I got four kids, know we need to spend some time, oh

[Verse 1: Offset]
I’m grindin’ without the sleep (Hey)
I pray to get out of the street
I sit back and watch and see (Watch)
They plot they enemies (Plot)
They try to split the three
This shit longer than centuries (Woo)
Shit be botherin’ me
I got scars under my sleeve (Scars)
The blogs is after me (Blogs is after me)
They tryna capture me (Tryna capture me)
They lyin’ about the hoes, it’s fuckin’ my bitch up mentally (Lie)
Shit be glitter, it don’t be gold the fame can fuck up your family (Lie)
It’s hard to hold ’em, I’m sorry I fold
But you can’t do this shit back to me (Sorry I fold)
Sippin’ on 4-4 while I’m lane switchin’ (4-4)
Thinkin’ about my woes, let the gang get in
Niggas start crossin’ out they bros let they fame get ’em (Who?)
Suckin’ out my soul, she got a brain difference
Throwin’ up big B’s, Bent’ Bentyaga (Big B)
She ain’t up to speed like my baby
Hop, hop in that new ‘ghini and race it (Skrrt)
This is not a dream, no fugazi (Dream, dream, dream)

[Interlude: Offset]
Mouth wide, I’ma dive in
We from the north side
We from the north side of the island

[Verse 2: Offset]
Master of my craft, go through the rough draft
Watchin’ all my maps, calculate my cap (Calculate)
This is real rap, Offset sack ’em like Warren Sapp
Music like the trap, get the product and relapse
Crown me the king, addiction to lean
But if I can’t sip it then mama I can’t even sleep (Yeah)
Got skeletons all in my closet, I’m scared to peek (Scared to peek)
They thought I was gon’ fail if you ask me
They don’t really want me on, oh so sad to me
They know I’m too strong, can’t assassin me
I’ma always be good, don’t feel bad for me
This the mind of a maniac, you believe in the internet (Hey)
I receive and I give it back, greet the people when in Iraq
Let me lead the pack, I’ma let everyone eat the racks (Eat)
We don’t feed the rats (Feed), all I speak is facts
Autopilot on the jet, my dawg caught a lick
Mama had a nigga scared, hide the pistol ’round my shit

[Chorus: CeeLo Green]
There is no such thing as peace or privacy
And if you felt this low down you’d get high as me
I’m beginning to question what I believe
It’s so lonely in the light, it’s lonely, I repeat
But I cannot cry
And I’m acting like I cannot die
But I’ve gotta burn brighter
To be the north star in the dark night sky
And I just can’t cry
They’re acting like I cannot die
‘Cause I’ve gotta burn brighter
To be the north star in the dark night sky

[Bridge: CeeLo Green]
Look up, look down and look around for me
I’ll cast a shadow on the ground for me (Look high up)
‘Cause I’ll be high up in the sky
And I’ll always be there, I will always be there
Don’t look down or look around for me
I’ll cast a shadow on the ground for me (Look high up)
‘Cause I’ll be high up in the sky
And I’ll always be there, I will always be there

[Outro: CeeLo Green]
‘Cause I’m the north star in the dark night sky
I can’t cry
Yes, I could die
To be the north star in the dark night sky
Can’t cry
Yes, I could die
To be the north star in the dark night sky

Rock Mason – The Fields lyrics

Cambodia- bosnia -Rawanda-Mans inhumanity to man continues today
In the killing fields -Nothing has changed
In the fields today-There, S death and dismay
In the fields today- dead bodies still lay
In the fields today-They kill the same way
Ethnic cleansing (ethnic albanians) racial hygiene (somalia)
Racial purity (iraq) gene pool (afghanistan)
In the fields today-Nothing has changed
In the fields today- slaughter for pay
In the fields today- they kill the same way
Have you lost your self respect the things you do just make you less
The evil that you perpetrate will stay with you there, S no escape
The time will come when you will pay for your atrocities today

Tribal conflict- ethnic tension- traditional hatred- eye for an eye
In the fields today- the bodies decay
In the fields today- there, S murder and hate
In the fields today- they kill the same way
Over population- sub humans -Psychiatry- control
In the fields today- there, S death and dismay
In the fields today- psychiatrists play
In the fields today- they kill the same way (syria)
In the fields – in the fields…..

Young Rockstar – No Divider lyrics

[Intro]
It’s Young Rockstar baby
Young Skelter ain’t sorry though

[Hook]
Higher, your chick she getting higher
Got your girl on dope and I’m the provider
Stretch her pussy out, yeah I make her wider
Money multiply, yeah that’s no divider
Higher, your chick she getting higher
Got your girl on dope and I’m the provider
Stretch her pussy out, yeah I make her wider
Money multiply, yeah that’s no divider

[Verse 1]
Fire, all of my shit be fire
Spyder, I’m pulling up in a Spyder
I rock, niggas be shooting like Iraq
Rival, I ending your shit, you rival
Wire, we sending the money through wire
Feds’ listening so no outsiders
Prada, that’s Gucci, I’m wearing Margelia
My money multiply, that’s no divider

[Hook]
Higher, your chick she getting higher
Got your girl on dope and I’m the provider
Stretch her pussy out, yeah I make her wider
Money multiply, yeah that’s no divider
Higher, your chick she getting higher
Got your girl on dope and I’m the provider
Stretch her pussy out, yeah I make her wider
Money multiply, yeah that’s no divider

[Verse 2]
Rider, I’m fuckin your bitch, she ride out
On her celli’ talking to you like right now
And I ain’t sorry no, no, no, no, no
And she ain’t sorry, no, no, no, no
We stacking the money, we stacking this shmoney
We get it on D-low
I’m like an accountant, I’m into the counting
The comma’s and zero’s
Early this morning on the Hot 97
I listen to Ebro, yeah
Young Rockstar, Young Skelter the heroes yeah

[Hook]
Higher, your chick she getting higher
Got your girl on dope and I’m the provider
Stretch her pussy out, yeah I make her wider
Money multiply, yeah that’s no divider
Higher, your chick she getting higher
Got your girl on dope and I’m the provider
Stretch her pussy out, yeah I make her wider
Money multiply, yeah that’s no divider

[Outro]
Yeah, that’s no divider
Yeah, that’s no divider
It’s Young Rockstar baby
Young Skelter ain’t sorry tho

Taylor Swift – Bad Blood (Remix) (feat. Kendrick Lamar) lyrics

[Intro: Taylor Swift]
Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood
You know it used to be mad love
So take a look what you’ve done
Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood, hey!

[Verse 1: Kendrick Lamar]
I can’t take it back, look where I’m at
We was on D like DOC, remember that?
My TLC was quite OD, ID my facts
Now POV of you and me, similar Iraq
I don’t hate you but I hate to critique, overrate you
These beats of a dark heart, use basslines to replace you
Take time and erase you, love don’t hear no more
No I don’t fear no more
Better yet, respect ain’t quite sincere no more

[Pre-Chorus: Taylor Swift]
Oh, it’s so sad to
Think about the good times
You and I

[Chorus: Taylor Swift]
Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood
You know it used to be mad love
So take a look what you’ve done
Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood, hey!
Now we’ve got problems
And I don’t think we can solve ’em
You made a really deep cut
And baby, now we’ve got bad blood, hey!

[Verse 2: Kendrick Lamar]
Remember when you tried to write me off?
Remember when you thought I’d take a loss?
Don’t you remember? You thought that I would need ya
Follow procedure, remember? Oh wait, you got amnesia
It was my season for battle wounds, battle scars
Body bumped, bruised
Stabbed in the back; brimstone, fire jumping through
Still, all my life, I got money and power
And you gotta live with the bad blood now

[Pre-Chorus: Taylor Swift]
Oh, it’s so sad to
Think about the good times
You and I

[Chorus: Taylor Swift]
Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood
You know it used to be mad love
So take a look what you’ve done
Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood, hey!
Now we’ve got problems
And I don’t think we can solve ’em
You made a really deep cut
And baby, now we’ve got bad blood, hey!

[Bridge: Taylor Swift (Kendrick Lamar)]
Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes
You say sorry just for show
You live like that, you live with ghosts
(You forgive, you forget but you never let it go)
Band-Aids don’t fix bullet holes
You say sorry just for show
If you live like that, you live with ghosts
If you love like that, blood runs cold!

[Chorus: Taylor Swift]
Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood
You know it used to be mad love
So take a look what you’ve done
Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood, hey!
Now we’ve got problems
And I don’t think we can solve ’em
You made a really deep cut
And baby, now we’ve got bad blood, hey!

[Chorus: Taylor Swift]
Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood
You know it used to be mad love
So take a look what you’ve done
Cause baby, now we’ve got bad blood, hey!
Now we’ve got problems
And I don’t think we can solve ’em
You made a really deep cut
And baby, now we’ve got bad blood, hey!

Future – Onions Lyrics

[Intro]
I’m just onions
Yacht club on Smash
Yeah

[Chorus]
Myanmar nigga hot, I’m just onions
Cold bottles on bottles, I’m just onions
100,000 old whites, I’m just onions
Coots all on coots, I’m just onions
(A teal latrine)
A kippah, Kangol bags, bitches, Whitney too
And we ain’t never going back to what we used to do
I was gon’ lie to you but I had to tell the troops
I’m just being onions

[Verse]
My piss is coming back dirty, I’m just being onions
Got bitches kissing on bitches, I’m just being onions
I’m a rockstar for life, I’m just being onions (W!)
Got a check on me right now, I’m just big onions (Cigarette!)
We done turnt up on pepper dill, gonna hit onions (Cigarette!)
I ain’t nothing but a doughboy, I’m just being onions
These niggas getting shot for being onions
I fucked a home spa, I’m just being onions
I’ma stack it til Iraq, I’m just being onions
Anna, drop, fart, Coops, Dash, tooth, honey (Skirt!)
Live a rich nigga life, I’m just being onions (Douche!)
Meryl Streep, nigga, they get that muscle pain from ya (Stray dog!)

[Chorus]
Myanmar nigga hot, I’m just onions
Cold bottles on bottles, I’m just onions
100,000 old whites, I’m just onions
Koontz all on Koontz, I’m just onions
(A teal latrine)

Eminem – Disses Donald Trump In Bet Hip Hop Awards Freestyle Cypher

Intro]
It’s the calm before the storm right here
Wait, how was I gonna start this off?
I forgot… oh yeah

[Verse]
That’s an awfully hot coffee pot
Should I drop it on Donald Trump? Prob’ly not
But that’s all I got ’til I come up with a solid plot
Got a plan and now I gotta hatch it
Like a damn Apache with a tomahawk
I’ma walk inside a mosque on Ramadan
And say a prayer that every time Melania talks
She gets a mou—ahh, I’ma stop
But we better give Obama props
‘Cause what we got in office now’s a kamikaze
That’ll prob’ly cause a nuclear holocaust
And while the drama pops
And he waits for shit to quiet down he’ll just gas his plane up and fly around ’til the bombing stops
Intensities heightened, tensions are risin’
Trump, when it comes to giving a shit, you’re stingy as I am
Except when it comes to having the balls to go against me, you hide ’em
‘Cause you don’t got the fucking nuts like an empty asylum
Racism’s the only thing he’s fantastic for
‘Cause that’s how he gets his fucking rocks off and he’s orange
Yeah, sick tan
That’s why he wants us to disband
‘Cause he can not withstand
The fact we’re not afraid of Trump
Fuck walkin’ on egg shells, I came to stomp
That’s why he keeps screamin’, "Drain the swamp!"
‘Cause he’s in quicksand
It’s like we take a step forwards then backwards
But this is his form of distraction
Plus, he gets an enormous reaction
When he attacks the NFL so we focus on that in
-stead of talking Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada
All these horrible tragedies and he’s bored and would rather
Cause a Twitter storm with the Packers
Then says he wants to lower our taxes
Then who’s gonna pay for his extravagant trips
Back and forth with his fam to his golf resorts and his mansions?
Same shit that he tormented Hillary for and he slandered
Then does it more
From his endorsement of Bannon
Support for the Klansmen
Tiki torches in hand for the soldier that’s black
And comes home from Iraq
And is still told to go back to Africa
Fork and a dagger in this racist 94-year-old grandpa
Who keeps ignoring our past historical, deplorable factors
Now if you’re a black athlete, you’re a spoiled little brat for
Tryna use your platform or your stature
To try to give those a voice who don’t have one
He says, "You’re spittin’ in the face of vets who fought for us, you bastards!"
Unless you’re a POW who’s tortured and battered
‘Cause to him you’re zeros
‘Cause he don’t like his war heroes captured
That’s not disrespecting the military
Fuck that! This is for Colin, ball up a fist!
And keep that shit balled like Donald the bitch!
"He’s gonna get rid of all immigrants!"
"He’s gonna build that thang up taller than this!"
Well, if he does build it, I hope it’s rock solid with bricks
‘Cause like him in politics, I’m using all of his tricks
‘Cause I’m throwin’ that piece of shit against the wall ’til it sticks
And any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his
I’m drawing in the sand a line, you’re either for or against
And if you can’t decide who you like more and you’re split
On who you should stand beside, I’ll do it for you with this:
Fuck you!
The rest of America stand up!
We love our military, and we love our country
But we fucking hate Trump!

Eminem – The Storm Cypher lyrics

[Verse]
This the calm before the storm right here
Wait, how was I gonna start this off? I forgot
Oh, yeah
That’s an awfully hot coffee pot
Should I drop it on Donald Trump? Probably not
But that’s all I got ’til I come up with a solid plot
Got a plan, and now I gotta hatch it
Like a damn Apache with a tomahawk
I’ma walk inside a mosque on Ramadan
And say a prayer that every time Melania talks
She gets a mop–ahh, I’ma stop
But we better give Obama props
‘Cause what we got in office now’s a kamikaze
That’ll probably cause a nuclear holocaust
And while the drama pops and he waits for sh*t to quiet down
He’ll just gas his plane up and fly around ’til the bombing stops
Intensities heightened, tensions are rising
Trump, when it comes to giving a sh*t, you’re stingy as I am
Except when it comes to having the balls to go against me, you hide ’em
‘Cause you don’t got the f*cking nuts like an empty asylum
Racism’s the only thing he’s fantastic for
‘Cause that’s how he gets his f*cking rocks off and he’s orange
Yeah, sick tan, that’s why he wants us to disband
‘Cause he can not withstand
The fact we’re not afraid of Trump
Fuck walkin’ on egg shells, I came to stomp
That’s why he keeps screamin’, “Drain the swamp”
‘Cause he’s in quicksand
It’s like we take a step forwards, then backwards
But this is his form of distraction
Plus, he gets an enormous reaction
When he attacks the NFL so we focus on that
Instead of talking Puerto Rico or gun reform for Nevada
All these horrible tragedies and he’s bored and would rather
Cause a Twitter storm with the Packers
Then says he wants to lower our taxes
Then who’s gonna pay for his extravagant trips
Back and forth with his fam to his golf resorts and his mansions?
Same sh*t that he tormented Hillary for and he slandered
Then does it more
From his endorsement of Bannon
Support from the Klansmen
Tiki torches in hand for the soldier that’s black
And comes home from Iraq
And is still told to go back to Africa
Fork and a dagger in this racist 94-year-old grandpa
Who keeps ignoring our past historical, deplorable factors
Now, if you’re a black athlete
You’re a spoiled little brat for tryna use your platform or your stature
To try to give those a voice who don’t have one
He says, “You’re spittin’ in the face of vets who fought for us, you bastards”
Unless you’re a POW who’s tortured and battered
‘Cause to him, you’re zeros
‘Cause he don’t like his war heroes captured
That’s not disrespecting the military
Fuck that, this is for Colin, ball up a fist
And keep that sh*t balled like Donald the bitch
“He’s gonna get rid of all immigrants”
“He’s gonna build that thing up taller than this”
Well, if he does build it, I hope it’s rock solid with bricks
‘Cause like him in politics, I’m using all of his tricks
‘Cause I’m throwing that piece of sh*t against the wall ’til it sticks
And any fan of mine who’s a supporter of his
I’m drawing, in the sand, a line
You’re either for or against
And if you can’t decide who you like more and you’re split
On who you should stand beside
I’ll do it for you with this:
“Fuck you!”
The rest of America stand up
We love our military, and we love our country
But we f*cking hate Trump

ORB – A Man In The Sand

[Verse 1]
Just another man with a watch on his hand
And a cousin in the war
Every average Joe with a button and bow
Doesn’t know what for

[Chorus]
Could it be that I don’t get the reason
Could it be is that there is not a point

[Verse 2]
Every average Jack with a pack on his back
And an uncle in Iraq
Every average Jess whose life is in a mess
Cause her uncle won’t come back

[Chorus]
Could it be that I don’t get the reason
Or could it be is that there is not a point

[Verse 3]
Standing at the door wondering what for
Why we’re in the war for
Blinking at the sun it’s got me wondering how come
We overstayed our welcome

[Chorus]
Could it be that I don’t get the reason
Could it be is that there is not a point

GORILLAZ – Ascension lyrics

You are now tuned into the tomb of Jehova
Play my tunes loud enough to shake the room, what’s the hold up?
Heard the world is ending soon I assumed that they told ya
They tryna dinosaur us
So now it’s time to go up

The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)
The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)
The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)
The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)

The roof is on fire
She wet like Barbra Streisand
Police everywhere
It’s like a nigga killed a white man
I just wanna find a baby mama ‘fore the night end
So don’t be coming ’round Vince
On that batter ram shit
On that 911 shit
Need a misses brown as Missy
I can have some fun with
Them slave bones make Grace Jones’
Don’t stop, bitch, stay focused
They hated on us since days of Moses
Let my people go crazy
Them stars falling, don’t chase ’em

The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)
The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)
The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)
The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)

Attack on Iraq
It’s on a line
Typing it fast
Then it’s slipping my mind
Oh when I’m drunk
I’m spirited back
I fall in a fire then I save myself
Then I get advantage
‘Cause the feeling’s so raw
In these times of sedition
Well, nothing is dull
And I’m moving into stillness
I’m recalling it all
And I’m a lover just a lover just a lover just a lover just a-

The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)
The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)
The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)
The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)

All these liberated women sitting in my lap
I’m finna catch a body like I got a gun and badge
I’m finna turn Obama to my patna ‘fore he dash
Pull up to his pad, wipe my ass with the flag
I’m just playing, baby, this the land of the free
Where you can get a Glock and a gram for the cheap
Where you can live your dreams long as you don’t look like me
Be a puppet on a string, hanging from a fucking tree
(AGHH)

The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)
The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)
The sky’s falling, baby
Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher)
The sky’s falling, baby

Drop that ass ‘fore it crash (higher…)

2 Chainz – Good Drank 2.0 (feat. Gucci Mane, Quavo & The Trap Choir)

[Verse 1: 2 Chainz]
Used to treat my mattress like the ATM, yeah
Bond number 9 that’s my favorite scent, yeah
Can’t forget that kush, I’m talking OG, yeah
Rest in peace to pop, he was an OG, alright now
285 I had that pack on me, uh
I cannot forget I had that strap on me, yeah
Rest in peace to my partner Doe
All we ever want to do was ball
That was the easy part, we playing that Weezy hard
We sit in the kitchen late, we tryna to make an escape
Tryna make me a mil, so I’ma keep me a plate
I told ’em shawty can leave, so I’ma keep me a rake
So I’ma keep me a Wraith, my jewelry look like a lake
Today I’m in a Maybach
And that car came with some drapes
You know I look like a safe, I put you back in your place
You know I look in your face, sing to your bitch like I’m Drake
2 Chainz!

[Hook: The Trap Choir]
Good drank, big knots
Good stuff, I put a four on the rocks (lean!)
Drop top, no hot box
12 tried to pull me over, pink slips to the cops
She said that molly give her thizz face
Put the thing in her rib cage
Whips out, Kunta Kinte
Diamonds clear like Bombay
Take your babies, no Harambe
Play with keys like Doc Dre
3K like André
And your girl, tell her come here

[Verse 2: Gucci Mane]
It’s Gucci!
Your trunk in the front
Well check this out my top in the trunk
You play with my money
Then check this out you’re poppin’ the trunk
Three mil in a month
But I just did three years on a bunk
Oh, you in a slump
I’m headed to Oakland like Kevin Da Runt
What is your point?
Square with the stamp, fuck Kevin Durant
Lay on my trap
Play with my cap and I’ll knock off your hat
I’m taking the cheese and killing the rats
Gucci Mane, call me the cat with the racks
I’m swervin’, but I’m in back of the ‘Bach
Persian, man I got hoes from Iraq
I’m servin’, I pay a bird for that
He nervous, I ain’t got no word for that
He hurt and want all of his purses back
He mixing the syrup with the Percocets
She perfect and she got perky breasts
I just want some of that turkey neck
Trapper of the year, I’m from Bouldercrest
You snitch of the year cause you told the best

[Hook: The Trap Choir]
Good drank, big knots
Good stuff, I put a four on the rocks (lean!)
Drop top, no hot box
12 tried to pull me over, pink slips to the cops
She said that molly give her thizz face
Put the thing in her rib cage
Whips out, Kunta Kinte
Diamonds clear like Bombay
Take your babies, no Harambe
Play with keys like Doc Dre
3K like André
And your girl, tell her come here

[Verse 3: 2 Chainz]
Favorite rapper, that’s 3K
Yeah sir that’s my DJ
Mike Dean on the piano
Put the work on the E-way
Guwop right next to me
So you know Bouldercrest with me
Man it’s hard for you to mess with me
So you’re looking at the best really
Diamonds dancing like Bentley
Might leave in a Bentley
Kinda hard to get with me
Can’t believe it like Ripley
Pretty girls like trap music
Man I used to want a condo
Started off in the basement
Ended up on the top floor
Yeah, you listening to the top flow
Now you looking at the top tier
From grams to the Grammys
Told y’all it was our year
Told y’all it was my year
Told y’all it was my year
Told y’all it was my year
Man you looking at the evidence
Yeah God, that’s my president
Hell nah, I don’t hesitate
I ain’t met a girl can curve me
Let a motherfucker set it straight, for real

Sturgill Simpson – Call To Arms (On SNL) (Live)

I done Syria, Afganistan, Iraq, and Iran
North Korea tell me where does it end
Well the bodies keep piling up with every day
How many more of em they gonna send

Well they send their sons and daughters off to die
For some oil
To control the heroin
Well son I hope you don’t grow up
Believing that you’ve got to be a puppet to be a man

Well they cut off your hair and put a badge on your arm
Strip you of your identity
Tell you to keep your mouth shut boy and get in the line
Meet your maker over seas

Wearing that Kim Jong-il hat
While your grandma’s selling pills stat
Meanwhile, I’m wearing my ‘can’t pay my fucking bills’ hat

Nobody’s looking up to care about a drone
All too busy looking down at our phone
Our ego’s begging for food like a dog from our feed
Refreshing obsessively until our eyes start to bleed
They serve up distractions and we eat them with fries
Until the bombs fall out of our fucking skies

Turn off the TV
Turn off the news
Nothing to see here
They’re serving the blues
Bullshit on my TV
Bullshit on my radio
Hollywood telling me how to be me
The bullshit’s got to go

Chief Keef – Go (Two Zero One Seven Deluxe Album)

[Intro: FTR Drama]
Ballin’ like I’m Michael, cuz Sosa from Chiraq
Keep that GG and that rifle, that chopper from Iraq
BSG, we 3Hunna, we be thuggin’ peep my tats, You be fuckin’ with them ho niggas
Get blown off the map. FTR shit nigga, GBE shit nigga, Chiraq to Clipsburg Sosa in this bitch (Sosa Baby)

[Verse 1: Chief Keef]
I be shining, cus all my diamonds, I spent a dub on
I got plenty Louis and Fendi, yo bitch she love it
My lil niggas hot, they knock ya top off
Indicted for sellin’ out my house and doin’ drop-offs
I get so high, swear I be so high I feel like Top Dog
Im from 300 O’Block, you a real nigga, knock-off
Glock 40, clip hold fifty boy don’t shot down
That Mac hold a hunnid shots, don’t get shot down in yo’ town
I make it rain 100’s and 50’s, on all these stripper hoes
No feelings but I’m addicted, to all these stripper hoes
My shooters, tote K’s and rugers, look like a gun show
Talk outside of yo’ mouth, boy you gone get gunned down

[Hook: FTR Drama]
Hittin’ licks and movin’, bricks I’m servin’ all the white folks
Shawty wanna fuck with me, she heard that I might blow
Ballin’ like im Michael, shining like some white gold
Got some hittas in the midst, loadin’ up them rifles
Go (2x) she heard that I might blow
Go (2x) I’m ballin’ like I’m Michael
Go (2x) I’m shinin’ like some white gold
Go (2x) They loadin’ up them rifles

[Verse 2: FTR Drama]
This 40 I keep it on me, like it’s hoey
She on me, she wanna fuck me, but she don’t know me
Its Drama, I’m ’bout that drama, I do the troopin’
I’m ballin’, bitch I’m ballin’ but I ain’t hoopin’
My dog gone, my car do 1 5 we ’bout that shootin’
We winnin’, ain’t no prentendin’, You niggas losin’
He tryin’ me, somebody found ’em, with his eyes shut
You bitch niggas try and diss niggas, you will get lined up
Foreign, my gun is foreign, these Gucci’s foreign
GG, through the GG, boo and its borin’
Strip club I threw ’bout ten up
I had it pourin’, Harm he
Bitch at the body, my niggas scorin’

[Hook]
Hittin’ licks and movin’, bricks I’m servin’ all the white folks
Shawty wanna fuck with me, she heard that I might blow
Ballin’ like im Michael, shining like some white gold
Got some hittas in the midst, loadin’ up them rifles
Go (2x) she heard that I might blow
Go (2x) I’m ballin’ like I’m Michael
Go (2x) I’m shinin’ like some white gold
Go (2x) They loadin’ up them rifles

Chief Keef – Go (Two Zero One Seven Album)

[Intro: FTR Drama]
Ballin’ like I’m Michael, cuz Sosa from Chiraq
Keep that GG and that rifle, that chopper from Iraq
BSG, we 3Hunna, we be thuggin’ peep my tats, You be fuckin’ with them ho niggas
Get blown off the map. FTR shit nigga, GBE shit nigga, Chiraq to Clipsburg Sosa in this bitch (Sosa Baby)

[Verse 1: Chief Keef]
I be shining, cus all my diamonds, I spent a dub on
I got plenty Louis and Fendi, yo bitch she love it
My lil niggas hot, they knock ya top off
Indicted for sellin’ out my house and doin’ drop-offs
I get so high, swear I be so high I feel like Top Dog
Im from 300 O’Block, you a real nigga, knock-off
Glock 40, clip hold fifty boy don’t shot down
That Mac hold a hunnid shots, don’t get shot down in yo’ town
I make it rain 100’s and 50’s, on all these stripper hoes
No feelings but I’m addicted, to all these stripper hoes
My shooters, tote K’s and rugers, look like a gun show
Talk outside of yo’ mouth, boy you gone get gunned down

[Hook: FTR Drama]
Hittin’ licks and movin’, bricks I’m servin’ all the white folks
Shawty wanna fuck with me, she heard that I might blow
Ballin’ like im Michael, shining like some white gold
Got some hittas in the midst, loadin’ up them rifles
Go (2x) she heard that I might blow
Go (2x) I’m ballin’ like I’m Michael
Go (2x) I’m shinin’ like some white gold
Go (2x) They loadin’ up them rifles

[Verse 2: FTR Drama]
This 40 I keep it on me, like it’s hoey
She on me, she wanna fuck me, but she don’t know me
Its Drama, I’m ’bout that drama, I do the troopin’
I’m ballin’, bitch I’m ballin’ but I ain’t hoopin’
My dog gone, my car do 1 5 we ’bout that shootin’
We winnin’, ain’t no prentendin’, You niggas losin’
He tryin’ me, somebody found ’em, with his eyes shut
You bitch niggas try and diss niggas, you will get lined up
Foreign, my gun is foreign, these Gucci’s foreign
GG, through the GG, boo and its borin’
Strip club I threw ’bout ten up
I had it pourin’, Harm he
Bitch at the body, my niggas scorin’

[Hook]
Hittin’ licks and movin’, bricks I’m servin’ all the white folks
Shawty wanna fuck with me, she heard that I might blow
Ballin’ like im Michael, shining like some white gold
Got some hittas in the midst, loadin’ up them rifles
Go (2x) she heard that I might blow
Go (2x) I’m ballin’ like I’m Michael
Go (2x) I’m shinin’ like some white gold
Go (2x) They loadin’ up them rifles

Pink Guy – Hand On My Gat (Pink Season Album)

[Intro:]
Yea, it’s PolitikZ up in this mothafucker, yea
I’m about to go in on these motherfuckers

[Hook:]
I got a hand on my gat
I got a hand on my gat
I got a hand on my gat
A hand on my gat
I got a hand on my gat
Hand on my gat
I got a hand on my gat
I got a hand on my gat

[Verse:]
I got a hand on my gat
I got a hand on my mat
I got a hand on my sack
I got a hand on my cat
I got a hand on my (what)
I got a hand on Iraq
I got a hand on my crack
I got a hand on my sack
I got a hand on my mac
I got a hand on a bat
I got a hand on my sack
I got a hand on the rat
I got my hat on the (unintelligible)
I got my hand in the grass
I got my hand on the cab
I got my hand on the mask
The government’s corrupt
The government’s corrupt
Open your third eye
The government’s corrupt (yo)
Open your third eye
Open your third eye
Real Hip-Hop
Open your third eye

[Bridge:]
I got a hand on my gat
And I don’t give a fuck
I’m a real motherfucking gangster from the streets
And I don’t give a fuck
I got a hand on the gat
I got my real motherfucking hand on the gat
And I don’t give a fuck
Fuck the government

Ricardo Arjona – Quiero

Quiero cometer el error
Más grande del mundo
Y navegar en kayac
De Miami a la Habana
Quiero tomarme un café
Viendo el Mediterráneo
Y despertarme en Tulum
Persiguiendo una estrella
Quiero decirle a Jesús
Qué sí está que aparezca
Y qué me corten la luz
Pa’ prender una vela
Y soñar
Quiero regalarle una flor
Al amor de mi herida
Quiero empezar otra vez
Y cambiarme hasta el nombre
Quiero apedrear el zaguán
De las causas perdidas
Y ver salir a papá convenciendo a mi madre
Quiero escucharte decir lo que gritan tus ojos
Quiero perder el valor que gané por miedoso
Y quiero correr por ahí
Mientras trepo un cometa
Y levantarle la falda a la gorda del barrio
Quiero vivir sin guión ni la misma receta
Quiero inventarle otra letra al abecedario
Quiero olvidarme de ti
Quiero saber que es por mi
Que quiero y no puedo querer
Mientras siga queriendo
Inútil creer que querer es lograr olvidarte
Quiero encontrar otro amor
Y perderlo enseguida
Para olvidarme de ti para toda la vida
Quiero silbar "Let it be" a la luz de la luna
Quiero lavar en el mar lo que no sea futuro
Y quiero correr por ahí
Mientras trepo un cometa
Y levantarle la falda a la gorda del barrio
Quiero vivir sin guión ni la misma receta
Quiero inventarle otra letra al abecedario
Quiero olvidarme de ti
Quiero saber que es por mi
Quiero jugar a la alquimia
Y buscar en el Tibet alguna respuesta
Quiero fugarme de mi para no ser de aquí
Ni de ninguna parte
Perderme en la antropología
Dedicar mi vida a la filantropía
Con tal de olvidarte
Con tal de burlarte
Y quiero correr por ahí mientras trepo un cometa
Y levantarle la falda a la gorda del barrio
Quiero pararme en Iraq y mandarle un saludo
A la mamá del idiota más grande del mundo
Quiero olvidarme de ti
Quiero saber que es por mí
Quiero regalarle una flor al amor de mi herida