Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 09, 2014

Why Fight ISIS? And How Fight ISIS When There Are No Allies?

Why is there this artificial panic about ISIS in the United States? Why would a majority agree to air-attacks on ISIS, a "strategy" that is very likely to fail and that will certainly create more aggrieved people willing to fight the "west"?

The whole issue does not make sense. Yes, ISIS is dangerous as it is build on a brutal and strict ideology that can attract many, many followers. It was created in the aftermath of the U.S. attack on Iraq. The U.S. czar Bremer disbanded the Iraqi military creating a jobless army of several hundred thousand military men. Additionally his de-Baathification campaign send tenths of thousands of Sunni state employees and technocrats into poverty. The U.S. written Iraqi constitution enshrined sectarianism.

"Western" propaganda tales about the Syrian government "slaughtering Sunnis" - even when the majority of the government was and is Sunni - never made sense. But such claims, repeated over and over again together with empty words about "freedom" and "democracy" helped to mobilize an exceptional force of foreign fighters that has now joined ISIS.

ISIS is dangerous for the people living in Iraq and Syria. It is a threat to some of the governments in the area. But it is neither a threat to the U.S nor to Europe. Even if some ISIS influenced people would blow up something somewhere in Europe it would be jsut another minor event in a decades old series of various homegrown terror incidents. Why is there then a necessity to fight it?

And fight ISIS together with whom?

In Iraq the U.S. pressed for prime minister Maliki to go. The new prime minister Abadi is no less sectarian that Maliki. His cabinet now has 11 Sunni members while Maliki's had fifteen. The Kurds joined the new government only for a trial period of three month and the two most important ministries, interior and defense, will be, like under Maliki, in the hands of the prime minister himself. How then did this "regime change" move against Maliki change actually anything? Any Iraqi help against ISIS will be sectarian mass slaughter. Any foreign help to the Kurds or the Shia will be abused to create gains solely for that community.

The "moderate rebels" of the "Free Syrian Army" which the CIA is feeding with Saudi dollars and weapons are just a sham. They are criminals and/or religious fanatics and the difference between them and ISIS are tiny. In Lebanon the FSA is openly cooperating with ISIS:

“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in ... Qalamoun,” said Bassel Idriss, the commander of an FSA-aligned rebel brigade.

Some FSA group seems to have kidnapped the journalist (and Mossad spy?) Steven Sotloff and sold him off to ISIS. The later beheading of Sotloff by ISIS was marketed by the Obama administration as one reason to bomb them. Why then not bomb the FSA who kidnapped him in the first place? Weapons delivered through the CIA to FSA rebels are now in the hands of ISIS fighters. Any thought that FSA groups, certainly thoroughly infiltrated by ISIS sympathizers, can somehow help in a campaign against ISIS is pure lunacy.

Then there is the lack of international cooperation in the area. The only two countries who have actually offered help are Iran and Syria. Jordan has asked not to be (officially) involved in the campaign for fear of internal revolt. Turkey, led by an Islamist, is giving comfort and logistic help to ISIS. It has not even labeled ISIS a terrorist group. Israel just helped the Al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra to take the Syrian border station on the Golan by shelling the Syrian government position that was trying to prevent that. The Kurds are busy defending their home turf in the mountains against ISIS incursions. They are neither capable nor willing to go on a military offense. The Saudi Arabia dictators fear ISIS because it is more truly Wahhabi then the sham Wahhabi Islamic State construct in Saudi Arabia. Ironically ISIS will likely soon target the Saudi state which ideology and money helped its birth in the first place. The Saudis will not help against ISIS, their spiritual kin, out of fear of such internal strife.

None of the local allies the U.S. wants to use against ISIS is willing or capable to help. The only three forces that offered and could (Syria, Iran, Hizbullah) help against ISIS are seen as hostile by the United States.

How then please can anyone in the U.S. think of a military campaign against ISIS? Without any local allies? With no boots, not even friendly foreign ones, on the ground?

The U.S. now wants some kind of UN Security Council resolution against ISIS. Russia and China should be very, very careful about this. The U.S. is likely to abuse any such resolution to justify a new attack on Syria.

Posted by b on September 9, 2014 at 12:24 PM | Permalink

Comments
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thankfully we have some politicians who speak directly on the issues about what some of us already were able to figure out :Lavrov: West may use ISIS as pretext to bomb Syrian govt forces."
Link here

Posted by: james | Sep 9, 2014 12:48:36 PM | 1

"...The U.S. now wants some kind of UN Security Council resolution against ISIS. Russia and China should be very, very careful about this. The U.S is likely to abuse any such resolution to justify a new attack on Syria."

Posted by b at 12:24 PM

Your entire post I agree with. But the last sentence of your piece is the USG goal. ISIL is the USG and allies manufactured straw-bogeyman.

Posted by: really | Sep 9, 2014 12:49:17 PM | 2

The coup govt in Kiev sounds stupid and desperate enough to display its 'Americanism' by offering troops to fight ISIS in exchange for (indecently hasty) induction into NATO.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 9, 2014 12:49:54 PM | 3

@ b
The U.S is likely to abuse any such resolution to justify a new attack on Syria."

That's the ultimate goal - the western powers ( so called allies who will be sending SOF as advisers to Baghdad) don't give a hoot about the Arabs - Shi'a or Sunni , all they want is getting rid of Assad and to protect the Erbil where their financiers for elections are making money.

I would like to see this scenario in the next couple of weeks:
ISIS taking over the Southern part of Iraq ( either by getting the Shi'a to their cause or taking it by force) and then pull a "Saddam circa 1991" on Kuwait.
What would the GCC and their mafiosi protectors US/UK do?

Posted by: Yul | Sep 9, 2014 1:22:55 PM | 4

nothing has changed since the earlier post on the US government ginning up a new crisis in which to intervene. ISIL is simply their latest pretext -- if it didn't exist they would have to create it. the goal, as it was last summer, is an attack on syria. don't assume that US policymakers are so scatterbrained and inept that they are incapable of playing a long game. haphazard as the steps taken to get there might seem, the US is still intent upon remaking the region in the image presented by gen. wesley clark in his famous 2005 interview. the US is knocking down the target states one by one, even if not neatly.

Posted by: Hugo First | Sep 9, 2014 1:39:19 PM | 5

Hugo First. I agree, Obama is in a quandary, the so called "arc of Extremism" Hez,Syria and Iran are the West's mortal enemies, IS hate the Shia more than any other group, so that attacking IS undermines the Wests ultimate goal. In my opinion IS has reached as far as it is possible, the Sunni communities will soon grow tired of living in the middle ages. IS have started taking money from individual bank accounts in Mosul,after first asking the holders how they came by the money, then deducting certain amounts to finance the new state.

Posted by: harry law | Sep 9, 2014 1:54:39 PM | 6

I agree The West should not fight ISIS or Syria or Libya or any other Middle Eastern country. It's needs to reserve all its military capability to fighting Russia in Eastern Europe and Europe in general in the next five to ten years. If it takes on ISIS it will squander it, and that is exactly what Putin wants.

However, they won't listen to me no matter how hard I tried. It looks like they're going to fight ISIS and the beefing up NATO talk is just that — talk.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 9, 2014 2:03:05 PM | 7

It's needs to reserve all its military capability to fighting Russia in Eastern Europe and Europe in general

What would those reserves be? Lots of nukes? Russia is a nuke state. No one will openly fight it.

Posted by: b | Sep 9, 2014 2:34:30 PM | 8

No one will openly fight it.

No one would invade Russia (at least not in the foreseeable future), I agree with that (although China may by way of territorial disputes in Russia's East within the next decade or two), but fight Russia? Sure some would. We'll soon find out.

Out of curiosity, how do you think it would transpire — this nuclear threat of Russia's? Let's say Russian troops and Western troops start killing each other directly in either Ukraine or Estonia in the next year. Are you asserting Putin implements a preemptive first strike against either Europe or America or both?

I find that hard to believe.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 9, 2014 2:48:48 PM | 9

Cold is entertaining, isn't he. I am sure he would be sending the Third Armored Division to the Fulda Gap...... if only those silly generals would listen.

He must have fallen pretty hard on his head when he was a baby.

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 9, 2014 2:48:59 PM | 10

Pretty good consensus here at the Moon on the head-fake strategy. ISIS as bogeyman and pretext to bmob Syria.

Recall Oilbomber reiterated the Dubya line, "We don't care about no stinkin' borders when we're a chasin' terra."

Nobody sovereign except the USA when it comes to huntin' terrists.

Oilybomber goes on tv tonight to convince Americans that the US must bmob ISIS, ISIL and/or IS (in Syria or wherever they may be - probably in Syria).


Posted by: Fast Freddy | Sep 9, 2014 2:50:19 PM | 11

b, pull yourself together, man! I understand the temptation to rebut Hold 'n' Blow's puerile inanities can overpower one, but you must stay strong!

Posted by: ruralito | Sep 9, 2014 2:51:16 PM | 12

Also Drones R Us. Drones are funny. Oilbomber is gonna use em on his daughter's suitors!

What a yuck fest! He's as funny as Dubya lookin for the missing WMD under the sofa.

Posted by: Fast Freddy | Sep 9, 2014 2:54:51 PM | 13

What would those reserves be?

Most of all, reserves of resolve. That's the most important component in implementing a campaign to push Putin back into his borders now that his expansionist genie is out of its bottle.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 9, 2014 3:00:58 PM | 14

By bombing ISIS Obama claims he wants to "protect" Americans.
The only Americans in Iraq now are the ones who are part of ISIS.
The bombing will actually kill Americans, not protect them

Posted by: Virgile | Sep 9, 2014 3:12:59 PM | 15

"Why fight ISIS?"
Why assume this is about fighting ISIS?

"ISIS is dangerous for the people living in Iraq and Syria'
Drop the funding, inc US and problem mostly solved

"Without any local allies? With no boots, not even friendly foreign ones, on the ground?"

The US has all kinds of local allies and they already have boots on the ground- Same as they did in Libya
Kurds, PKK, Sunni militias, never mind all their other scum bag fighters- how can you claim no local allies?

Your selling the same narrative as the main stream media, almost promoting an R2P type meme?

Posted by: Penny | Sep 9, 2014 3:27:23 PM | 16

The more I think about it, I think tat Iran, Syria, hezbollah and Russia should be fighting ISIL in Syria. The US and its allies who created ISIL should focus on Iraq, preventing ISIL access to syria via Turkey and stop funding ISIL and other anti assad groups.

I feel that the US may not only exploit the "ISIL problem" to attack assad, but it also could turn into a cauldron situation for all pro assad forces. I think the US and its allies would have no problem bombing Iranians, hezbollah, Syrian forces via black op justification. In other WORDS, trust is an issue when it comes to the USG and it allies not turncoating during a joint operation with pro assad forces.

Posted by: really | Sep 9, 2014 3:50:49 PM | 17

I thought after US pulled out of Iraq, we would see a Sunni genocide - didn't happen, of course. US would have gotten a UN R2P pronto and attacked the shit out of Iraq. Again. Now they have another opportunity to commit genocide on Sunnis under cover of US "strategy" AND "tactical" operations.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 9, 2014 3:58:23 PM | 18

OT: As soon as anyone comes up with a good, or even bad, analysis of the MH17 report, I would love to see a link. The report itself seems to be devoid of much information.

Posted by: Bob In Portland | Sep 9, 2014 4:06:56 PM | 19

Ever since the the Iranian Revolution the U.S. has been looking to restore a Shah-type client state in the region, and it has its wish now with Kurdistan. That is why you had the Obama "pivot" when Erbil looked like it was at risk of being overrun by al-Baghdadi's "get fresh" crew: he went from calling ISIS a "JV" outfit to suddenly sounding the alarm that it constituted a threat note only to the Greater Middle East but America as well.

With every major European power -- Germany, France, UK -- lining up to supply light and heavy arms to the Kurds, and the U.S. promising the same, we have to stay focused on Kurdistan.

Abadi's formation of a new government is more cosmetic than anything else at this point since all the contentious issues regarding the the Kurds -- oil rights, boundaries, government budget -- have yet to be resolved. Erdogan is nervous because he thinks all those arms from Europe will be used by the PKK against Turkey. But it is Erdogan who holds the keys to a campaign against ISIS in Syria.

I think those of us who saw Sykes-Picot devolving into Afghanistan are going to be proved correct. Turkey will not close its borders to the jihadis, and you'll have a Waziristan-type situation like in AfPak. War for decades.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 9, 2014 4:10:45 PM | 20

The story above gives more evidence that Iraq as we knew it (up to the invasion of 2003) is dead and gone. And the new violence will make things worse.

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 9, 2014 4:35:45 PM | 21

You all know that Ukraine had peacekeepers in Iraq post Saddam ouster, right?

You know, during the "Orange Revolution" reign of Yuschenko? Which were withdrawn once he got booted?

Posted by: c1ue | Sep 9, 2014 5:00:42 PM | 22

One reason Obama needs/wants to be doing is the mid-term elections in november of this year. He needs to show that he is not "Weak" in order to attrack enough votes.

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 9, 2014 5:06:11 PM | 23

It is frustrating to read and watch the MSM spreading misinformation about the Middle East situation and Syria in particular. I have some knowledge of Syria in terms of governance, social dynamics, civil society and its impressive art and culture. It is true that Syria like most third world countries are bureaucratic which encourages/forces citizen to seek alternative methods to get around it, like using small bribery, this may include freshly baked bread or tray of Baklava, (Bakhsheesh is the legacy of the Ottoman Empire). The unrest that started the civil war was led by Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a well funded (by Saudi, Qatar, US etc.) and well organized (as in Egypt). It was an opportunity created by the "Arab Spring", they took advantage of it to achieve their long sought after goals which are not for the common good by any means. Majority of Syrians are socially "liberal" and secular, they still believe in Arab unity (not Muslim unity) as the only way to solve regional problems. MB ideology and practices are orthogonal to Pan-Arabic and most Syrians belief system.
Note: an interesting example of MSM false and illogical statement/analysis is that; if Obama bombed Syria last year, ISIS will not be as strong. I am still waiting for someone to stand up and demolish such nonsense.

Posted by: DanE | Sep 9, 2014 5:14:18 PM | 24

DanE, here is the pertinent passage regarding the Muslim Brotherhood from an article by Samir Amin on the return of fascism:

In the conflict over—in much confusion—these three possible responses to the challenge, the Western powers (the United States and its subaltern European allies) have made their choice: they have given preferential support to the Muslim Brotherhood and/or other “Salafist” organizations of political Islam. The reason for that is simple and obvious: these reactionary political forces accept exercising their power within globalized neoliberalism (and thus abandoning any prospect for social justice and national independence). That is the sole objective pursued by the imperialist powers.

Consequently, political Islam’s program belongs to the type of fascism found in dependent societies. In fact, it shares with all forms of fascism two fundamental characteristics: (1) the absence of a challenge to the essential aspects of the capitalist order (and in this context this amounts to not challenging the model of lumpen development connected to the spread of globalized neoliberal capitalism); and (2) the choice of anti-democratic, police-state forms of political management (such as the prohibition of parties and organizations, and forced Islamization of morals).

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Sep 9, 2014 5:29:56 PM | 25

'artificial panics' are useful to manipulate the public to getting them to back a political action already prepared...publics being stupid and emotional

Posted by: brian | Sep 9, 2014 5:41:34 PM | 26

'"Western" propaganda tales about the Syrian government "slaughtering Sunnis" - even when the majority of the government was and is Sunni - never made sense. But such claims, repeated over and over again together with empty words about "freedom" and "democracy" helped to mobilize an exceptional force of foreign fighters that has now joined ISIS.'

a lot of people miss the role the media(esp the 'free press') plays in creating these artificial panics : its whats driving the jihad in a bootstrap process. Sunnis read of the evils of Assad and like many a non sunni feels powerless until offered a way by an alqaeda recruiter

Posted by: brian | Sep 9, 2014 5:44:09 PM | 27

' The only three forces that offered and could (Syria, Iran, Hizbullah) help against ISIS are seen as hostile by the United States.'

wonder why!

Posted by: brian | Sep 9, 2014 5:45:42 PM | 28

@22 At this point, it's less about looking weak than cleaning up his mess before voters realize ISIS was created and armed by Obama and friends.

Voters already think he is weak. Even if you don't recognize D.C. kabuki, Obama already appears hapless in the face of the GOP. The Hillary train is partially fueled by the idea Obama is weak.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Sep 9, 2014 5:52:01 PM | 29

'I agree The West should not fight ISIS or Syria or Libya or any other Middle Eastern country. It's needs to reserve all its military capability to fighting Russia in Eastern Europe and Europe in general in the next five to ten years. If it takes on ISIS it will squander it, and that is exactly what Putin wants.

However, they won't listen to me no matter how hard I tried. It looks like they're going to fight ISIS and the beefing up NATO talk is just that — talk.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 9, 2014 2:03:05 PM | 7


not sure why B tolerates this level of trolling/Putinphobia
But how does Cold know what Putin wants? has he bugged his bedroom?

'However, they won't listen to me no matter how hard I tried'

now why would people not want to heed your pearls of wisdom?! i canna figure it out to laddie!

Posted by: brian | Sep 9, 2014 5:54:09 PM | 30

isis must be fought so the world can be saved,maybe they could crucify him

Posted by: el jefe | Sep 9, 2014 6:07:11 PM | 31

more mashables to set the barnyard scurrying


'A Twitter account linked to the Islamic State, the extremist group also known as ISIS or ISIL, called out specific assassination targets in the U.S. for the first time Monday — specifically, Twitter employees. But the social media company isn't freaking out just yet.

"The time has arrived to respond to Twitter’s management by directly attacking their employees and physically assassinating them," read one of several threatening tweets from an account named @Dawlamoon. It added that the attack would be carried out "by the sleeper cells of death."
http://mashable.com/2014/09/08/twitter-isis/

you might ask HOW is IS able to still have a twitter accnt?! would twitter say: theyve not broken any rules yet?!

Posted by: brian | Sep 9, 2014 6:09:39 PM | 32

Was anyone alarmed over the amusingly missing Kurdish Oil tanker off the coast of Texas? Sudden reappearance tickle your funny bone?

Gird your loins. Another attack on our shores means all bets are off and you can kiss your ass goodbye. Dress rehearsals sometimes surpass opening night in their impact on the audience. The population will be happy to have CCTV in every room of their homes if they think it will protect them.

Posted by: Ben Franklin | Sep 9, 2014 6:24:29 PM | 33

One wild card re Syria: Israel(and Jordan).

Assad not only ran the trains on time. He maintained stable, peaceful borders. A chaotic, failed state in Syria for decades to come - the kind USNATO is so good at creating - would not be in Israel's interest.

Posted by: chuckvw | Sep 9, 2014 8:01:13 PM | 34

Israel is giving US information on where to target on ISIL in Iraq

http://en.alalam.ir/news/1630549

Posted by: really | Sep 9, 2014 8:01:51 PM | 35

"...A pair of competing bills have been offered in the US House of Representatives and Senate which seek to authorize the new US war against ISIL radicals in both Iraq and Syria.

The bills were introduced by Senator Bill Nelson (D – FL) and Frank Wolf (R – VA) respectively.

The Nelson bill limits the war’s duration to three years, and also rules out any use of ground troops. The Wolf bill does not forbid any use of ground troops, nor does it have a time limit attached
..."
http://en.alalam.ir/news/1630576

Posted by: really | Sep 9, 2014 8:10:47 PM | 36

@HoarseWhisperer: "The coup govt in Kiev ...offering troops to fight ISIS"

My god, is this for real? Who do you think they'll send - their patch work, untrained, Nazi "National Guard"? Or their poorest conscripts? My guess is most certainly the latter. After all, the oligarchs of that god-forsaken country have been exporting their women for decades - they've got to figure out something to do with their unemployed boys now that the war at home has petered out.

It's really shameful. I don't think there has been a European "government" like the one in Kiev since...ever. They are using the lives and livelihoods of their people like some cheap commodity to be pissed away.

Disgusting. The gallows is too good for these fiends.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 9, 2014 8:14:57 PM | 37

This goes back to the days of "Palladin". Have gun will travel, except that we now use "have bombs will drop". My working theory is that the US seems to have a lot of bombs that are near their expiration date.

Posted by: Curtis | Sep 9, 2014 8:23:15 PM | 38


If IS were 'the enemy' Obama could fight them by simply cutting off their arms and cash via Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf family ventures.

US admits sending ‘lethal aid’ to Syrian rebels


Washington is supplying some Syrian rebels with both “lethal and non-lethal” aid, according to National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who confirmed the longstanding suspicion that the Obama administration is arming anti-Assad forces.

Islamic State may have taken anti-tank weapons from Syrian rebels


Anti-tank weapons that were likely once owned by moderate Syrian rebels have landed in the hands of Islamic State militants, according to a newly released field investigation conducted in both northern Iraq and Syria.

The Islamic State has also captured “significant quantities” of U.S.-manufactured small arms and has employed them on the battlefield, researchers found.

Isis jihadis using captured arms and troop carriers from US and Saudis


The jihadi group surging through Iraq and Syria is using large captured US-made weapons and has access to anti-tank rockets supplied by Saudi Arabia to a moderate rebel group, according to a report published on Monday.

Made in the USA: Report Shows ISIS Using US Arms from ‘Syria Rebels’


From the moment the US began sending lethal arms to Syrian rebel factions, there were a chorus of people expressing fears that those arms would end up in the “wrong hands,” and US officials insisted they were going to carefully vet everyone who got those weapons.

You know who got a lot of those weapons? ISIS. Just as everyone predicted would happen, once the arms were smuggled into Syria, they quickly ended up spread out among rebel factions, both pro-US and not, and a new report shows massive amounts of ISIS armament was actually stamped “Property of US Govt.”

But IS is not 'the enemy'. IS is the media presence designated for the current 2 minute hate to 'justify' the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's perpetual war.

Oceania has always been at war with Eurasia and East Asia, again. Oceania will always be at war. Until Oceania is no more.

Posted by: john francis lee | Sep 9, 2014 8:25:24 PM | 39

@ 36 Perhaps they will send Femen?

Posted by: dh | Sep 9, 2014 8:34:17 PM | 40

Car bomb kills leaders of major Syrian rebel faction

Leaders of Ahrar al Sham, a hard-line Islamist faction, were meeting in the Ram Hamdan area of Idlib province in northern Syria when a suicide bomber detonated a car laden with explosives, killing at least 28 of its leaders, according to various reports. Among the dead was Hassan Abboud, the group's top commander. …

Although no group has claimed responsibility, many activists suspect the militant group Islamic State, which has recently made broad territorial gains in Syria and neighboring Iraq.

I don't know what to make of this report. I've never heard of a car bomb killing so many of the intended target, unless it causes a building to collapse. Also, there is no mention of civilian casualties.

Oh: Reuters: Blast kills leader of Syrian Islamist group, other top figures

“We don’t know the cause of the explosion yet,” Abu Mustafa al-Absi, a member of Ahrar al-Sham’s politburo told Al-Jazeera TV in an interview. “We do not rule out the infiltration of elements who were able to plant a bomb,” he added.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the monitoring group, said about 50 of the group’s leaders had been gathered at a house when the blast went off. Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Observatory, said the blast had occurred inside the meeting.

That makes more sense. The LA Times is really going downhill.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 9, 2014 8:40:07 PM | 41

Perhaps Obama will explain why the US didn't lift a finger to oppose ISIS for six months, in violation of the US/Iraq Strategic Framework Agreement
Nov 26, 2007

Declaration of Principles for a Long-Term Relationship of Cooperation and Friendship Between the Republic of Iraq and the United States of America

As Iraqi leaders confirmed in their Communiqué signed on August 26, 2007, and endorsed by President Bush, the Governments of Iraq and the United States are committed to developing a long-term relationship of cooperation and friendship as two fully sovereign and independent states with common interests. This relationship will serve the interest of coming generations based on the heroic sacrifices made by the Iraqi people and the American people for the sake of a free, democratic, pluralistic, federal, and unified Iraq.

The relationship of cooperation envisioned by the Republic of Iraq and the United States includes a range of issues, foremost of which is cooperation in the political, economic, cultural, and security fields, taking account of the following principles:

First: The Political, Diplomatic, and Cultural Spheres

1. Supporting the Republic of Iraq in defending its democratic system against internal and external threats....

Third: The Security Sphere

1. Providing security assurances and commitments to the Republic of Iraq to deter foreign aggression against Iraq that violates its sovereignty and integrity of its territories, waters, or airspace.

2. Supporting the Republic of Iraq in its efforts to combat all terrorist groups, at the forefront of which is Al-Qaeda, Saddamists, and all other outlaw groups regardless of affiliation, and destroy their logistical networks and their sources of finance, and defeat and uproot them from Iraq. This support will be provided consistent with mechanisms and arrangements to be established in the bilateral cooperation agreements mentioned herein. 3. Supporting the Republic of Iraq in training, equipping, and arming the Iraqi Security Forces to enable them to protect Iraq and all its peoples, and completing the building of its administrative systems, in accordance with the request of the Iraqi government.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 9, 2014 8:44:58 PM | 42

'B', you are questioning our leaders as if they are rational and honest.

Of course the war against ISIS isn't about "protecting us". Anything that happens during the Gwot is an excuse for more Gwot. And ISIS is a means of gearing up the country for another war in the Middle East. Nothing more.

I expect we'll see the same tropes they trotted out following the Ghouta gas attacks. Deriding the American people for their "war weariness" and urging us to "get over it" for "our own sakes". And we'll hear about our "exceptionalism" and "the children"... this is just round two of that war. Got to hand it to the US oligarchy... "If at first you don't succeed!"

The real question is this: does the Anti-War Movement have similar gumption? This is truly our chance to shine (and I do mean *our* knowing it is in the interest of 99% of us, with only one Cold Hole in the middle of our commitment). This should be a *very* simple matter to convince the American people that this is a sham. To explain to them the true history of how the Iraq War and the Arab Spring morphed into bloody disasters in Syria, Libya, and Yemen - and how the same people that brought us all of this expect us to permit them more. This is a chance to expose the sham of the "Arab Spring" while sentences are metted out in Bahrain after the Saudi invasion of the county. This is a chance to expose the role of the Gulf States in funding this. This is the whole enchilada.

I know some will scoff, but I think the anti-war movement *did* stop the war in Syria (to some degree), and we can do it again. We must consider how the recent bombing campaign was stopped and repeat this victory - the tidal wave of anti-war comments posted (and we must participate! MoA is great, but it can't only be preaching to the choir!), the massive letter writing campaign, the clear "NO" from the citizens of the west will encourage and compliment the stands of Russia, China, Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah.

There are so many points to be made to those who say "oh, maybe these guys really are bad...":

  • These dangers and wars growing all over the globe are because of US intervention, not in spite of it.
  • We are tired of the one sided, government stenography that passes as "media". We know we have not been told the whole story.
  • We know that the US/Western governments are only seeking war to further their aims through war.
  • How will killing more Iraqis make us safer? What can more American bombs do that 10 years of occupation could not do?
  • We refuse to torture and bomb the people of Iraq any longer
  • The US and its allies must stop supporting the agenda of sectarianism in the Middle East. The claims that Syria is in the grip of a Sunni-Shia conflict is false: it is a battle between sectarian fundamentalist gangs, and a secular, multi-ethnic government. And the US is supporting the gangs!
  • If the Arab Spring was such a wonderful thing that we supported, why did we not support it in Bahrain? Why was it okay to allow Saudi tanks to invade Bahrain?
  • We heard that our support for the Arab Spring would bring democracy. Where is the democracy in Libya? In Syria? In Egypt? In Yemen? In Bahrain?
  • How can we be sure that this new intervention will be any different that the disaster we brought to Libya?
  • If we want to help, then we should aid the legitimate governments of the region - including Iraq, Iran and the Syrian government - but the US bombs will not bring peace!
  • No more aid for violent fundamentalists in Syria - and we demand the US put an end to the cash and weapons flow wherever it comes from: Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or Qatar.
  • b offered an *excellent* piece which should be studied and spread with additions to update it. I hope that people will consider - for every comment they post here - posting one anti-war comment on a middle-of-the-road blog or better yet - a mainstream site like the big newspapers.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 9, 2014 8:54:49 PM | 43

@jfl: "Isis jihadis using captured arms and troop carriers from US and Saudis"

That's clever, the headline writer should get his bonus. They might be using "captured" US arms, but the stuff from the Saudis arrived with "To: ISIS" on package. That much is clear.

This is first and foremost the Saudi war to reverse the gains made by Iran in Iraq. Though I'm convinced that it is all driven - strategically - by the US/Israeli wish to cut off the supply lines between Tehran and Beirut. Once that's done, they'll feel confident giving Iran support to try and turn them away from the SCO.

But the Iranian government would have to be fools to buy that.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 9, 2014 9:03:06 PM | 44

@42 damn, sorry. That got ugly.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 9, 2014 9:03:32 PM | 45

@guest77 #42:

There is democracy in Syria. The US is supporting groups in Syria that want to destroy it, same as the US did in the Ukraine.

Posted by: Demian | Sep 9, 2014 9:09:52 PM | 46

@DanE: "an interesting example of MSM false and illogical statement/analysis is that; if Obama bombed Syria last year, ISIS will not be as strong. I am still waiting for someone to stand up and demolish such nonsense."

That's dastardly, I hadn't heard that swill. I mean, you calling that "illogical" is being quite kind - but the media has been pushing this quite often. I posted a sickening NYTimes Op-Ed here of which the point was "the Muslims" hadn't been "taking ISIS seriously" which is why it had gotten so powerful. To completely ignore that Muslims - and in particular Syrians - have been fighting them tooth and nail while we and our allies were supporting them.

The idea that our destroying the only force standing up against ISIS (forget completely that simply our not supporting them would have damaged them greatly) for the last 3 years would have somehow weaken them is just one of the baldest lies imaginable.

Thanks for bringing that one out into the sunlight.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 9, 2014 9:23:08 PM | 47

@42 - bravo for saying all that. We've definitely got our work cut out for us here...

Posted by: Nana2007 | Sep 9, 2014 9:32:59 PM | 48

No, no Cold Hole - once again you're either not thinking or you're once again spinning an empty narrative.

Out of curiosity, how do you think it would transpire — this nuclear threat of Russia's? Let's say Russian troops and Western troops start killing each other directly in either Ukraine or Estonia in the next year. Are you asserting Putin implements a preemptive first strike against either Europe or America or both?

It is well known that should the Russians find themselves overwhelmed conventionally (and I doubt your 4,000 NATO "Rapid Response" nitwits would do it, Cold Hole), they would begin using tactical nukes against the massed invading armies and whatever carriers they could get at.

They'd basically blow to smithereens the armies of whoever they were facing, likely on or very near Russian territory if it came to that leaving it up to the Gen. Turgidsons running the USA to decide wether they want to go for the whole she-bang or not.

No, I think the Russians have plenty of space to maneuver between "Polish Flag Flies over Red Square" and The End of the World™.

The Russians know what war and destruction mean, Cold Hole. You and your pampered American brethren, clearly as you show day in and day out, do not. Who do you think will blink first?

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 9, 2014 9:33:07 PM | 49

Bottom line: The US, at great expense, mistakenly transformed Iraq into an Iran ally and now, using ISIS, is taking corrective action. It has worked. ISIS now controls 1/3 of Iraq as the self-professed Zionist Joe Biden suggested in 2006. Everything else is propaganda for public consumption.

AP, May 12, 2006:

WASHINGTON — The senior Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee proposed Monday that Iraq be divided into three separate regions — Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni — with a central government in Baghdad.
.
In an op-ed essay in Monday’s edition of The New York Times, Sen. Joseph Biden. D-Del., wrote that the idea “is to maintain a united Iraq by decentralizing it, giving each ethno-religious group … room to run its own affairs, while leaving the central government in charge of common interests.”

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 9, 2014 9:33:30 PM | 50

"Cold is entertaining, isn't he. I am sure he would be sending the Third Armored Division to the Fulda Gap"

I'm guessing the only thing Cold Hole orders anywhere is Chinese food to his dirty apartment. And he probably doesn't even tip.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 9, 2014 9:37:18 PM | 51

"...How to pay for any offensive is still being debated. Obama in June asked Congress to approve $500 million for the fiscal year to arm and train “moderate” Syrian rebels to better fight Assad.

It would be part of a proposed $1.5 billion Regional begins Oct. 1 to arm and train “moderate” Syrian rebels to better fight Assad.

It would be part of a proposed $1.5 billion Regional Stabilization Initiative that also would aid neighboring countries Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.

The U.S. military probably can continue with the air campaign without seeking additional money from Congress for now by shifting money in its $85 billion Overseas Contingency Operations account..."

http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2014-09-09/obama-said-to-seek-billions-extra-for-islamic-state-fight.html

Looks like "moderate ISIL" is gonna get some new militry hardware to attack assad.

Posted by: really | Sep 9, 2014 9:54:32 PM | 52

You have to love how, while the European "nobility" are pressing austerity on their people, the US has convinced them all to boost military spending and they've all gone for it. Ridiculous. There should be riots in the streets - 1917-style.

Its no mistake either that you have BRICS represents about every race in the world, while the US led coalition is a bunch of pale-faces (Obama included). White supremacy isn't dead - it just found the only half-Black Harvard Lawyer stupid enough to stand in front of it's parade.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 9, 2014 10:16:10 PM | 53

An extremely weird analysis from STRATFOR:

http://www.financialsense.com/contributors/stratfor/virtue-subtlety-u-s-strategy-against-islamic-state

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 9, 2014 10:57:22 PM | 55

Posted by: dan of steele | Sep 9, 2014 2:48:59 PM | 10

Cold is as entertaining as a head cold

Posted by: brian | Sep 9, 2014 11:58:50 PM | 56

Mike, that link 'the return of fascism' was terrific.

The support of the socialist and social-democratic parties of Western and Central Europe for the anti-communist campaigns undertaken by the conservative right shares responsibility for the later return of fascism. These parties of the “moderate” left had, however, been authentically and resolutely anti-fascist. Yet all of that was forgotten. With the conversion of these parties to social liberalism, their unconditional support for European construction—systematically devised as a guarantee for the reactionary capitalist order—and their no less unconditional submission to U.S. hegemony (through NATO, among other means), a reactionary bloc combining the classic right and the social liberals has been consolidated; one that could, if necessary, accommodate the new extreme right.

The whole article is worth reading.

Posted by: okie farmer | Sep 10, 2014 4:10:17 AM | 57

Peter Lee has a brilliant article up on Asia Times about this.
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MID-01-090914.html

Basically the US wants ISIS to stay 'on the program' and attack Syria, Lebanon, Iran and Russia. They don't want them going 'off reservation' and going for Jordon or Turkey or, they shudder, Saudi Arabia.

If they do their job properly then they will be showered by US arms, plus all the Turkish help they currently get and SA money they also currently get.

If they don't do that, well they still get the SA money and Turkish help (still probably US weapons) and have to endure some token bombing now and then from the US.

So this is just a carrot and stick thing to try and get ISIS to do what the US/SA/Turkey want (though of course SA wants them to kill every Shiite, Christian, etc in the ME). The rest is shadow boxing.

Unfortunately ISIS may have a mind of its own.

In fact the US will help them by (trying) to bomb the Syrian Army and Govt. The neo-cons in the US and the Likudists in Israel have orgasms at the thought of ISIS wiping out Assad, taking out Hezbollah and taking over Syria and, at least Southern Lebanon. "What's next' seems to allude them though, if ISIS becomes strong enough to do all that then they will sweep through Israel like a dose of salts. Maybe Israel (and the neo-cons) believe that then the US will put in 500,000+ troops and easily wipe out ISIS?

Who know what goes though what passes for brains in them, certainly not anything like a functioning neuron.

Saudi Arabia is real happy with them, every Christian, atheist, Jew, Shiite, non Wahhabi Sunni, etc killed is another step forward as far as they care. Maybe they hope that after they have ethnically cleared the Middle east they can go onto Europe or Russia. They are Wahhabi, everyone else but them has to be killed, by definition as they are all apostates.

Turkey is lining in ga-ga land in that they believe their support means that they can somehow regain ME power and influence.

So we have the 'Axis of the Insanely Stupid' trying even more stupid things to get ISIS to become 'manageable'.

Posted by: OldSkeptic | Sep 10, 2014 4:41:27 AM | 58

@43

Well, they're the msm ... they cannot say that the USA is intentionally arming IS, but the arms keep turning up ... so ... they're 'captured'.

Yeah, the Saudis captured 60 billion dollars worth in their 'clever' money trap. And the weapons available to anyone who promises to use them.

It used to be called 'recycling petrodollars'. Now it's recycling war dollars. Anyone who has to ask why the USA keeps stonewalling on fossil fuels' environmental degradation ... needs their head examined.

Fossil fuels fuel the perpetual war ... along every imaginable dimension.

Posted by: john francis lee | Sep 10, 2014 5:27:43 AM | 59

[ISIS] is neither a threat to the U.S nor to Europe. Even if some ISIS influenced people would blow up something somewhere in Europe it would be jsut another minor event in a decades old series of various homegrown terror incidents. Why is there then a necessity to fight it?

And fight ISIS together with whom?

And whilst European nations take drastic action, such as threatening to talk about confiscating passports, sentencing those suspected of "joining or aiding the flow of European-based fighters to Syria and Iraq" to one month in custody, or offering care and understanding at rehabilitation centres to returning fighters as well as a bed for the night and a shoulder to cry on, then I'd suggest European Governments agree with your assessment on how much of a threat these cavemen will become at home. So the reason for striking ISIS?

Alarm bells were ringing when, after reports of Syrian Government airstrikes against IS positions just across the border with Iraq, John Kerry said

"It's already important that nothing take place that contributes to the extremism or could act as a flash point with respects to the sectarian divide."

Lamenting airstrikes against ISIS. Curious, given what is happening now.


Then, alarm bells and whistles were ringing when Obama used the carrot and stick approach to remove Maliki. Authorising airstrikes in Iraq, but the continuation of which would only come after an inclusive Government was formed.

Using the threat of ISIS and the apparent impending slaughter of literally gazillions of Yazidi children on top of a mountain to achieve US aims. Interesting, though not completely damning given that Iran had given up on Maliki too. And it is Iran's apparent complicity in this that gives me some hope that Kerry's "coalition of the willing" tour isn't a ruse with ulterior motives.

And then yesterday. 9/9/2014. 13 years to the day since the assassination by suicide bomber of Ahmad Shah Massoud, Syrian rebel leader Hassan Abboud was assassinated by suicide bomber during a meeting with other top commanders.

Why was Abboud really eliminated? Maybe we're about to find out..

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Sep 10, 2014 6:31:45 AM | 60

White supremacy isn't dead - it just found the only half-Black Harvard Lawyer stupid enough to stand in front of it's parade.

Posted by: guest77 | Sep 9, 2014 10:16:10 PM | 52

This should read:

White supremacy isn't dead - it just found the next latest and greatest Botox-infused Russian dictator eager enough to stand in front of its (the possessive "its" doesn't require a comma) parade.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 10, 2014 6:36:22 AM | 61

There is democracy in Syria.

You guise are too funny. Yeah, right, of course. Putin's style of Democracy.

How Putin and his ilk are redefining democracy — Big Brother-style

Democracies ain't what they used to be.

It's been tough, recently, to discern the difference between dictatorship and democracy. Vladimir Putin's recent demonstration of political chutzpah, for example, raises again the question: How do autocrats like Putin get elected in a democracy? Answering this question requires acknowledging that democracies are not what they used to be.

During the past two centuries, democracy sounded like what they taught us in civics class: free and fair elections, competing political parties, respect for freedom of expression, division of political powers, and the rule of law. Not anymore. Just because countries hold elections, it doesn't follow that they magically enter the land of democratic Oz, having followed a yellow-brick road of perfect freedom.

Democracies come in all colors and shapes, with a lot of muddled gray on the palette. New democracies in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, and the Americas do not fit dreamy-eyed visions of boundless citizen power and restricted political power. In fact, most fall in a gray area between democracies and authoritarianism. Many democracies have dangerously verged into authoritarianism even though their leaders have been elected in free elections. Some have added modifiers to the lexicon: illiberal democracy, delegative democracy, and competitive and electoral authoritarianism. But are we talking about skim milk, slight variations on the essential thing, or frankenfoods, hazardous blends that are toxic for the public body? The situation of the press and digital media patently reflects the ambiguity of contemporary democracies. Just look at Russia, Turkey, and Venezuela. Democrats do not shutdown Twitter, pressure the press, or jail journalists.

The global playbook of democratically elected leaders with autocratic hearts is filled with carrot-and-stick tactics to ensure a sycophantic press and obedient publics. Dangle juicy government contracts to media oligarchs with far-flung business interests. Dole out official advertising like candy in Halloween. Shut off Internet switches when faced with mounting discontent. Stuff the pockets of corrupt journalists with assorted goodies. Discourage critical voices in the name of "national interest" and security concerns. Threaten to use libel laws and other antediluvian legal strategies to restrict speech. Pack courts with friendly judges. Order thugs on government payroll to go after inquisitive reporters.

The result is a situation that hardly resembles a democratic paradise. The choice for would-be journalists in this environment is to risk retributions if they scrutinize governments or save their skin and cozy up to governments. Media businesses tiptoe around sensitive subjects. Self-censored journalists populate newsrooms. Citizens fear government spooks patrolling social media. When the press is brow-beaten and journalists abandon all hope of monitoring power, democracy turns into a hollowed-out system.

Before we gain too much speed on our American high horse, let's remember that no contemporary democracy guarantees equal opportunities for public expression or complete press freedom. Money talks louder than most citizens especially during election times. News organizations subjected to cutbacks and constantly pressured to deliver audiences and advertising are not exactly the paragon of unbounded freedom. Governments try to keep things secret through creative hush-hush strategies. With its fair share of ethical scandals, the press is hardly the knight in shining armor coming to rescue democracies from despots and wrongdoing.

More at link

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 10, 2014 6:43:43 AM | 62

cold'n holefield @61

what I find very hilarious is that you believe there is some sort of democracy-(of the people,by the people, for the people) in the US.
there isn't. That's plain enough for anyone to see.

Take a good look in your own backyard, it's dam ugly.


Posted by: Penny | Sep 10, 2014 6:51:07 AM | 63

@62
I agree penny the US put the MOCK in democracy.

What do you call a psychopathic, propaganda utilizing,corporate controlled, militaristic, war mongering, resource stealing, belligerant, life threatening, planet destroying, myopic, cowardly proxy war waging, oppressive, never accountable for its actions, self aggrandizing, psuedo-exceptional, hypocrit, etc. etc. form of "government"?

We will get to hear and witness all the above and more tonight at 9pm est.

Posted by: really | Sep 10, 2014 7:16:33 AM | 64

really @ 63- "We will get to hear and witness all the above and more tonight at 9pm est"

I dread the thought and won't listen, I have a pretty good idea of what will be said-

Fear, Be afraid, we will keep you safe
PR talk for the masses
I've no stomache for that

Posted by: Penny | Sep 10, 2014 7:27:06 AM | 65

Notice how Darth Cheney has surfaced from his crypt. He is on the scene to implement phase II of the plan. You thought Iraq was a debacle....oh just wait. Like one moa poster says, gird your loins mf'ers. It is on now...

The msm and officials say Obama has to come up with a plan to combat ISIL, that is doublespeak meaning Obama needs to implement phase II of the existing PNAC plan for the ME.

http://www.oldamericancentury.org/files/pnac.html

Posted by: really | Sep 10, 2014 7:50:41 AM | 66

what I find very hilarious is that you believe there is some sort of democracy-(of the people,by the people, for the people) in the US.
there isn't. That's plain enough for anyone to see.

Take a good look in your own backyard, it's dam ugly.


Posted by: Penny | Sep 10, 2014 6:51:07 AM | 62

I was responding to someone who claimed there was Democracy in Syria. What does that have to do with America? Your argument of "well, America doesn't either, or America does it" is lame. You're using American Exceptionalism to endorse destructive behavior elsewhere by other parties and pretending those other parties are an alternative to American bad behavior.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 10, 2014 7:52:47 AM | 67

H Caulfield

actually it is you that using your belief in American exceptionalism to judge other societies- to which I still say
American exceptionalism simply does not exist other then in the minds of the indoctrinated.

If you are concerned about democracy? Set the example at home

Posted by: Penny | Sep 10, 2014 8:06:44 AM | 68

I wonder just how accurate the public sentiment regarding combating ISIL poll numbers are?

*snickering*

My guess is not that much...considering the msm is in the USG pocket.

Posted by: really | Sep 10, 2014 8:11:34 AM | 69

American exceptionalism simply does not exist other then in the minds of the indoctrinated.

I couldn't agree more. So, please stop with your American Exceptionalism. You believe America is the source of all evil in the world, and if that's not American Exceptionalism, nothing is. And yes, you've been indoctrinated into this line of thinking. Perhaps by a red-haired teacher, or a rufus magister if you will.

Address whether Syria is a Democracy or not and try to leave America out of your criticism.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 10, 2014 8:26:05 AM | 70

@65
PS

A retired radio host I used to listen to would always say, "in chaos they can steal." Which can be taxpayer money and or civil liberties or the GDP's of entire countries.

In principal it is no different than than people stealing during a riot or uprising. The scale of the theft on the other hand is night and day.

Posted by: really | Sep 10, 2014 8:34:02 AM | 71

HC @ 69 Define democracy for me? Parameters are needed first.

"You believe America is the source of all evil in the world"

No, not all the evil in the world, but, certainly America is exceptionally evil.

Posted by: Penny | Sep 10, 2014 8:46:48 AM | 72

apologies
# 71 is for Cold N H as opposed to the catcher in the rye character CH is alluding to, while being as unrebellious and unquestioning of perceived authority as possible

Define democracy for me? Parameters are needed first.

"You believe America is the source of all evil in the world"

No, not all the evil in the world, but, certainly America is exceptionally evil.

Posted by: Penny | Sep 10, 2014 9:01:00 AM | 73

I wonder what Iran and Russia are thinking about this?

Turkmenistan as the Three-for-One Staging Ground of Eurasian Destabilization

"...ISIL is threatening Iran in the west and could possibly entrap it in a quagmire in Iraq, and an independent Kurdistan can aid its Iranian brethren in rising up and fighting a ‘liberation’ wa against Tehran. Turkey’s NATO affiliation means that it can join any Western war against Iran through obligation (either actively/directly or passively/indirectly), thus remaining a neighbor that can never be fully trusted. Finally, Azerbaijan could promote separatism among the ethnic Azeris in the north of Iran that constitute nearly a quarter of the country’s total population, to say nothing of its suspected hosting of Israeli drone bases. Iran is thus faced with a plethora of existential threats on its borders, including ISIL, the Kurds, and the Taliban, which could all spill their chaos into the country.

Therefore, if Turkmenistan were to meltdown and become a haven for similar non-state actors to attack Iran, this may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, and Tehran would have intense difficulty dealing with so many expansionist threats simultaneously. This would thereby increase the chance for a strategic slipup that could open the floodgates for an internal war and concurrently make Iran even more vulnerable to an outside state-directed attack..."

Posted by: really | Sep 10, 2014 9:16:54 AM | 74

OK, I admit it: I don't understand the "logic" of Obama's strategy.

He appears to be insisting that ISIS is evil incarnate, a massive danger to the USofA.

He also insists on pointing out that ISIS is encamped in Syria which, indeed, it is.

Okay. Understood.

Surely then he is missing an important point: Assad's government is engaged in a life-and-death struggle against ISIS.

QED: America should drop all its objections to Assad and start giving him the weapons that he needs to take ISIS to the cleaners.

After all, I don't believe that FDR (man, doesn't he look like a giant compared to modern US politicians?) ever said to his underlings: I hate that Hitler guy, but I'll be darned if that means I'll give any help to that Stalin dude......

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 10, 2014 9:25:12 AM | 75

I wonder if shilling for the new corporate world order pays well? Many have posted here over the years. Their most important shill, here in America, speaks tonight.

Posted by: ben | Sep 10, 2014 9:55:12 AM | 76

The bullsh!t being spewed about the democrats not wanting to vote on authorizing any and all future military action against ISIL is horsesh!t.

According o the msm propaganda wurlitzer polls,the American population are on board with military caction against ISIL. So if the President has nothing to fear, why should the congress, particularly te democrats, be skittish of taking a vote on any and all military action against ISIL?

If Obama is gonna get a msm forcasted foreign policy war mongering boost in the polls, by taking action against ISIL, and stop looking "weak" as lhe is portrayed in the msm propaganda machine, why should not the democrats in congress bolster their hawkish bonifides too. It seems like a win win with all the alledged public support as indicated by the msm polling data.

This should be a no brainer vote for congress. The polling data of the people say it is. What is the problem congress, this is an easy vote and will help you in the mid term elections, by being able to tell your constituencies that I whole heartedly oted for Obama's strategery to defeat the american journalist beheading uber terraists that is ISIL.

Posted by: really | Sep 10, 2014 10:42:57 AM | 77

@ 74:
"After all, I don't believe that FDR (man, doesn't he look like a giant compared to modern US politicians?) ever said to his underlings: I hate that Hitler guy, but I'll be darned if that means I'll give any help to that Stalin dude......"

That, together with a message to our "allies" ( see Saudi Arabia, and Qatar), to cease funding the crazies, might work, however, that isn't the goal. As many here have stated, the real goal is taking down Syria/Iran.

Posted by: ben | Sep 10, 2014 10:43:03 AM | 78

@ 76: Agreed, you'd think it'd be a slam dunk.

Posted by: ben | Sep 10, 2014 10:47:51 AM | 79

I feel like covering my eyes -- I don't want to see the wreck that's about to unfold. They've been pimping the "moral necessity" of (as usual) doing "something" -- and once again Obama is overreaching and -- at least proposing to do something "stupid" -- and "everyone" expects him to mission creep to include taking-out Assad (because Iraq, Libya and even Afghanistan have turned out so well -- as if cutting off the head of the beast yielded predictably positive results. We might even talk about Milosevic and Yugoslavia, but most Americans have no idea that that wasn't some definitive "solution" or an "American success story" -- 20 years of blood, sweat and tears by other followed with eventually accepted results, if without enthusiasm)

Yes, as long as we have a voluntary military force, no one will care if they believe in "stop worrying and learn to love the bomb" as a foreign policy is a "strategy." Yes, we're the worst, sitting oceans away in our comfy living rooms, driving our SUVs and worrying about trivia.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 10, 2014 10:53:19 AM | 80

Obama's statement, "no boots on the ground in Syria" means the USG does not want to seriously defeat ISIL.


Just like this guy thinks.

http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930619000375

Posted by: really | Sep 10, 2014 11:14:55 AM | 81

@80

Correction... "no american boots on the ground in Syria"

Posted by: really | Sep 10, 2014 11:19:14 AM | 82

Boots on the Ground, indeed. ISIS -- inside and outside of Iraq and Syria -- are essentially a "rebel movement" which the local populations really "should be" able to control, particularly with air support, both for the killing-part but also surveillance -- but as we've seen in Afghanistan -- it's rather obviously more complicated than that.
One of the purposes of "the government" in any country is -- in fact, though it has been abuses horribly in the last decade -- to provide security for its citizens, a responsibility shared on all levels, from the local police, to the "national security infrastructure" -- and in all these countries in crisis, the government not only is failing to provide security, it is too often instrumental creating insecurity, persecution, etc.
One of the primary responsibilities of any state is the maintain the integrity of "the state" against internal dissidents/rebels or foreign incursion. When the integrity is threatened significantly -- as in Civil War -- it becomes a real back-to-the-wall existential thing. Which is part of why some sort of "first, do no harm" doctrine makes Obama violating Syrian borders a really bad idea.
There will be blowback (love that Russia's selling gas for ruples and yuan). Can't find / did anyone read the NYT editorial about how maintaining the dollar as the universal currency was too costly??

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Sep 10, 2014 11:29:08 AM | 83

JohnnyBoy @75

The key to success in western government is being able to believe in and 'seriously discuss' mutually exclusive ideas simultaneously. The greater the number, the greater the power.

Posted by: Yonatan | Sep 10, 2014 12:13:16 PM | 84

@75 johnny boy... seeing ISIS with 'us gov't' weaponry, you have to know you're being played for..

Posted by: james | Sep 10, 2014 12:25:25 PM | 85

I tell ya, if the USG starts bombing ISIL and/or Assad in Syria, there is going to be a response from Syria. Then you are going to more than likely have a response from Iran and possibly Russia behind the scenes.

The Arab coalition will almost certainly not be helping the US effort with troops to put in the Syria meat grinder. That means the US military will be mostly left alone to fight Assad, Iran and lord knows what other terrorist groups in Syria besides ISIL.

If the USG/GCC wants ISIL destroyed they need to have Turkey close its borders to ISIL movements and let assad and Iran destroy the ISIL beast they created in Syria.

Posted by: really | Sep 10, 2014 1:22:34 PM | 86

Assad has never responded to Israeli air attacks and he is even less likely to respond directly to US attacks.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Sep 10, 2014 1:25:47 PM | 87

The US govt.and the MSM are in Israel's(un)hip pockets.

Posted by: dahoit | Sep 10, 2014 1:51:04 PM | 88

I think CH believes that innocence and idealism are to be shunned for cynicism,hence his take off of Holden Caulfield(?).
And he aint American,he might reside here,but his loyalty is Zion.

Posted by: dahoit | Sep 10, 2014 1:59:28 PM | 89

bill kristol doesnt do anything. has zero value to america. send him to fight isis.
same for joe v-p.
and krauthamer, blitzer
well
all the newsers
maybe
they can just share lox and bagels in the desert

Posted by: 5 dancing shlomos | Sep 10, 2014 2:16:51 PM | 90

Sorry, my post at 79 referred to really at 77.

Posted by: ben | Sep 10, 2014 2:17:33 PM | 91

"...The US’ Strategic Imperative:

Though many may be confused about why the US would want to wreck the region after spending a decade and trillions of dollars on trying to ‘stabilize’ it, the explanation is rather simple. Among other reasons, one of the most important motives for the Afghan War was to facilitate the transit of Turkmen energy to Western markets. When this failed, Brzezinski’s Eurasian Balkans concept was decided upon in order to tear the Heartland apart and prevent the US’ Eurasian rivals from accessing Turkmenistan’s gluttonous gas reserves.

Another dual purpose of ripping the region apart is to create a domino destabilization that can carry the consequent secessionist spiral and terrorist tide over into the rest of Central Asia and then further afield to RCI..."
http://orientalreview.org/2014/08/20/turkmenistan-as-the-three-for-one-staging-ground-of-eurasian-destabilization/

Posted by: really | Sep 10, 2014 2:26:18 PM | 92

To Cold1 at 70 --

You reply to Penny at 68 -- "You believe America is the source of all evil in the world, and if that's not American Exceptionalism, nothing is. And yes, you've been indoctrinated into this line of thinking. Perhaps by a red-haired teacher, or a rufus magister if you will."

I do not hold the we are the source of all evil. I hold that we have of late been the largest source of evil. As befits "sole superpower."

Like "Barry Choom" used to be cool, we used to be fairly progressive. Ah, for the good 'ol days.

Glad to see you read my post -- for those interested, he's riffing on my explanation of my "authority" and choice of nom de plume. See mine from Sep 9, @ 171 in the "Moral Intervention." Some good reading suggested (he adds, humbly) at 153 earlier in the same thread.

Class dismissed, and the bar is open. A toast -- "To Knowledge!"

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 10, 2014 6:27:53 PM | 94

@87 That's exactly right. There will not be a response by the Syrian military to US bombing.

Posted by: ess emm | Sep 10, 2014 10:18:49 PM | 95

Iraq’s Government, Not Obama, Called Time on the U.S. Troop Presence

No country should train and or give weapons to anti assad al Qaeda terrorists groups in Syria. That will not work, it will be a complete an utter disaster for the Middle East region.

Posted by: really | Sep 11, 2014 2:58:00 PM | 96

ISIL is supposedly crafty right? What's to stop ISIL from infiltrating or even creating a so called "anti assad moderate opposition" like the Free Syrian Army or nusra front?

Posted by: really | Sep 11, 2014 3:36:07 PM | 97

"Washington - In a readout of a phone call with His Majesty King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, President Obama discussed concerns both countries share in regard to the threat posed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The White House confirmed that the Saudis offered to host training for Syrian opposition fighters, but only with Congressional authorization although the White House readout did not make this clear..."
http://m.digitaljournal.com/news/politics/saudis-offers-to-train-syrian-opposition-needs-congressional-ok/article/402562

Posted by: really | Sep 11, 2014 3:54:43 PM | 98

Juan Cole:
"There's a political coalition between the Sunnis & the jihadis". So, to defeat ISIS that coalition needs to be broken.

http://www.juancole.com/2014/09/outline-campaign-against.html

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 11, 2014 4:01:16 PM | 99

@96,97,98


http://www.thepolemicist.net/2014/09/america-isis-and-syria-we-have-to-bomb.html?m=1
"The short version ISIS is the product of years of American military intervention in Iraq, Libya, and Syria. ISIS is the creature of an imperial enterprise—a global effort to bring down the Syrian state using jihad proxies that included the U.S and its allies--Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, and Israel, at least—that could only have proceeded, “ at the bidding of,” and managed by, the imperial center. It was by surfing the American-directed “cataract” of weaponry and funds directed against Syria that ISIS became an international jihadi movement surpassing Al-Qaeda itself. Without that American intervention, there would be no ISIS.."

Posted by: really | Sep 11, 2014 4:02:40 PM | 100

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