Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 19, 2015

Obama Administration Dilly-dallying On Islamic State Action

The Islamic State took Ramadi with the help of armored bulldozers and some 10 suicide vehicles. That many of the nominal defenders of the city had no real will to fight also helped. But there is another important actor that allowed it to happen. In the critical 24 hours the U.S. coalition which had promised to defend Iraq and to defeat the Islamic State launched just seven air strikes and all only against minor IS targets around the city. That's like nothing.

Now the paltry "dog ate my homework" excuse is a sandstorm no one but the U.S. air support group noticed.

Yesterday the Islamic State held victory parades around Ramadi. A hundred vehicles with black flags parading on a wide open road with black flags on every streetlight pole.

The pictures show a bright and sunny blue sky. No U.S. air interdiction was seen. Remarks one knowledgeable tweep looking at those pictures:

The Islamic State in Ramādī yesterday. Quite amazing the coalition didn't take them out actually. Makes one wonder about the coalitions rules of engagement. Now it "looks" as if Ramādī was offered to them on a silver plate ...

Indeed. The Obama administration and the Pentagon tried their best to play down the strategic loss of Ramadi as something minor that could be somehow repaired within a few days or weeks. But as McClatchy notes: Ramadi joins lengthening list of Pentagon misstatements on Iraq and Experts: U.S. claims Ramadi a mere setback are ‘delusional’.

The U.S. does not take the Islamic State seriously. It is as if Obama has decided that a Jihadist state in east-Syria and west-Iraq is a bright idea that should be given full support. Do his people and those U.S. experts on Saudi/Qatari payrolls tell him that the Islamic State is no danger to U.S. interests? They are wrong.

In his last speech the Islamic State Caliph announced something bigger then 9/11 probably during Ramadan which will be mid-June to mid-July. A big event on June 29, the date Caliph Baghdadi announced the creation of the Islamic State one year ago, would make for a great anniversary.

No mainstream media has followed up on that threat. But at the very end of one McClatchy piece today there is this short paragraph:

Meanwhile, an intelligence official who spoke on the condition of anonymity under the ground rules of his agency offered a caution: With the anniversary of the Islamic State’s declaration of a caliphate coming next month, “it would not be surprising if the group sought to mount a major attack or propaganda blitz to demonstrate its capabilities, and attract additional recruits.

I hate fear mongering and would advise against any panic reaction to that threat. But one could a least show some effort to keep the Islamic State busy and under steady pressure. That would not only probably prevent another Ramadi surprise but could keep important Islamic State actors on the run and too busy to harm even more people.

But whatever warning the Obama administration will get, its current behavior shows that it will, like the Bush administration, not take it seriously.

Posted by b on May 19, 2015 at 02:45 PM | Permalink


The U.S. does not take the Islamic State seriously.

Sorry, gonna haveta disagree with you on that. Since the "U.S." created them and keeps pumping them up with buttloads of cash via their loyal lapdog the house of saud, IMHO the "U.S." takes them very seriously. After all, what's more serious than big fat bundles of hundred dollar bills? Remember: every pothole that goes unfilled in your neighborhood means the islamic shit state gets to make another beheading video. "God bless" america.

Posted by: Some Guy | May 19, 2015 3:04:55 PM | 1

@1 I think b is saying that the US doesn't see ISIS as a serious problem. They are not serious about stopping them....either militarily or by cutting off the funding.

Posted by: dh | May 19, 2015 3:45:06 PM | 2

kudos b.. keep on shining a light on the usa's duplicitous bullshit.. the isis is a mercenary group paid for by the usual suspects( usa- saudi arabia - israel) used as the ground force for keeping the mid east in a state of constant upheaval and dis-array.. don't let any wow brained idiots tell you any different..

Posted by: james | May 19, 2015 3:57:08 PM | 3

Why, it is almost as if they want another 9/11-style attack. /snark

Posted by: shargash | May 19, 2015 3:57:31 PM | 4

They think they can put the genie back in the bottle is how I see it. More likely the analogy will be Frankenstein's monster, and that don't work out so well for the good doctor if I remember correctly.

Posted by: Colinjames | May 19, 2015 3:59:53 PM | 5

Look how this Aug. 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency reports about the nascent Islamic State - consistent with idea that U.S. is quote comfortable letting them take territory:


Declassification was result of Judicial Watch federal lawsuit, and was published online yesterday:

Full doc here:

Posted by: Brad | May 19, 2015 4:01:16 PM | 6

The US is being jerked around as usual. We are told the public has no appetite for intervention in Iraq. WOW seems happy to let Arabs and Iranians kill each other.

Posted by: dh | May 19, 2015 4:10:47 PM | 7

Oh I think the 'coalition of the mad' (CoM), US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Israel (plus some minnows) are feeling qute happy now. IS and AN are back on track attacking Syria. If IS grabs more of Sunni Iraq along the way, then the US is quite happy with that, as long as they leave the Kurdish areas alone.

The symbolic 'newspaper across the nose' bombing by the US seems to have given IS the correct message.

Repeating my theory:
The CoM are united on AN & IS taking over Syria, albeit for different reasons.
IS went 'off reservation' when it attacked the Kurds.
Though the Turks and Saudis were very happy (ecstatic?) about that, Israel and the US weren't (they both have considerable interests there).
Therefore, with Turkish and SA grumbling, the US sent IS a 'message' , of 'get back to Syria, yes you can have Sunni Iraq, but leave the Kurds alone'.

Seems to have worked, therefore the CoM will be patting each other's backs. Now the money, weapons, etc supplies can really ramp up to IS.

Note AN, being a bit more politically,clever, never suffered from any US 'pressure' and support has been flowing endlessly (especially from Israel). In fact it looks like the efforts to publically 'rehabilitate' AN are well under way, expect 'brave feedom fighter' speeches about them from US politicians any day now.......

In the 'big picture' arena it looks like the US has put the Ukraine on hold for now, probably to concentrate more on Syria and China.

Posted by: Lisa | May 19, 2015 5:12:56 PM | 8

But how far does the evil US empire see it created proxy in ISIL role play out ?
Do they want ISIL and Al Qaeda all the way to Iran's border ? Is that taking it too far ? Most of the Western public couldn't really give a shit so far, so why not to Iran ?

ISIL is a terrorist/Jihadi "caliphate". That nature, means that it will never built it's defence systems and state defence apparatus like a National state would, so that is seen by the empire as being less of a threat to it's domination of the Reigon like a Syrian or Iraqi state would.
So if the criminal defensive incompetence, of more so the Iraqi army than the Syrian Army, shows the flaw in having national armies that are using for local oppression much more so than national defence - which for myself has been the key to ISIL and Al Qaeda military successes in Syria and Iraq - then if your the empire you can take advance of that criminal incompetence and corruption, to afterwards clean up the murderous planned chaos afterwards.

I think that ISIL and Al Queda are as big as the US empire wants it to be. It's just the terrorist proxies have never been this big before, but this is the age of the shrinking empire, so horrors like terrorist proxies should be more expected.

Posted by: tom | May 19, 2015 5:20:08 PM | 9

"The U.S. does not take the Islamic State seriously"

sounds like
"The West did not take the Bolsheviks seriously"
"The West did not take the Nazis seriously"

and ... whoops once in power and with some good old war diplomacy from our side they completely destroy Eurasia.

Guido Preparata on the "fight" of the West against the Bolsheviks (Conjuring Hitler, p.61-62):

"So the problem which faced the British clubs was how to make a clean job
of backstabbing the Whites, after these had repeatedly called upon Britain
and her allies to help them defeat the ‘Red, blasphemous monsters.’ What
Britain would do, with the help of America and the most heinous complicity
of France and Japan, who should have had no part in this anti-European
plot, was to engage in a mock fight on the side of the Whites versus the
Reds, committing very limited resources and men.

Thus what was in fact an operation of sabotage by neglect – a pretense to fight – was masked as a pro-White intervention, whose surreptitious objective was to instigate
the Whites to combat under unfavorable conditions, deceitfully hamper
their advances, prepare the terrain for their rout, and finally evacuate the
Allied contingent by blaming the defeat on the putative inefficiency of the
Whites. This would have turned out to be yet another indescribable disaster
engineered by the western elites, not only for the terrible loss of Russian
life it would have entailed, but especially for the murderous mendacity
and duplicity displayed by the Western governments in provoking it, and
subsequently justifying it to their electorates"

Posted by: Christoph (German) | May 19, 2015 5:41:38 PM | 10

ISIS - your USA tax dollar$ at work with a little help from our "friends" at the House of Saud. Any help from Israel (I'm sure there's plenty o that) is just MORE of your USA tax dollar$ at work.

I refuse to pay much attention to what these allegedly blood thirsty mercenaries are doing... on MY dime, no less. It's horrid for those brown-skinned ones "over there," I agree. It is horrid. I despair that it's me who is funding this murder.

However, over the course of my life, I have been resoundingly proven powerless to stop the madness, murder, mayhem, rapine & pillaging.

It's unfortunate for "the others over there." My way of coping with it is to mostly ignore it... or at least, ignore the ridiculous hyperventilating lying propaganda that's spewed forth from the USA m$m... who the feck knows what's truly real... or just manufactured to keep the USA rubes a-skeert & keeping their pockets wide opened to be picked and fleeced by the 1%/MIC/Spooks Inc.

Posted by: RUKidding | May 19, 2015 6:09:52 PM | 11

The ISIS is Saudi Arabia in drag? Taking over/taking out of commission Iraqi oil production with US help? The US is obviously OK with ISIS. Wondering why the IS doesn't 'do something' at this late date seems strange. The ISIS War Authorization [is] Likely Dead in Congress. War with Iran is always 'popular' among the slimy toads heaped up in that body. With KSA/ISIS doing the job ... and buying their own weapons to boot ... it's happy days in toad town.

Posted by: jfl | May 19, 2015 6:15:21 PM | 12

... and recent statements from the zc's indicate no opposition on the horizon.

Posted by: jfl | May 19, 2015 6:17:09 PM | 13

#2 I don't think you understood #1

And I don't take this blog seriously any more either. May as we'll read the Huff Post

Posted by: DM | May 19, 2015 6:37:36 PM | 14

As long as the USA is pampering its "allies" in the region, i.e Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, Al Qaeda and ISIS will continue to receive their salaries and weapons from these countries.
What is necessary to change that is a ISIS terrorist attack in Istanbul, Ryad or Doha. Then these countries would start to question their "friendly" relationship with these Islamist terrorists.
An election time attack in Turkey will have the best impact. Who will do it?

Posted by: Virgile | May 19, 2015 7:00:49 PM | 15

The foreign-policy aim is for everyone to lose.

In any case, b, you keep me coming back for your entertaining oscillations between yawping pleas for US intervention to stop the "salafis" and the hope that the latter will surround the U.S. Army and destroy it once and for all.

Posted by: slothrop | May 19, 2015 7:33:49 PM | 16

That the fiercest US bombing campaign against ISIL was in Kobani, right on the Turkish boarder tells it all. The US has plans for exactly where they want ISIL to go and how far to spread.

It's clear that ISIL has a sectarian murderous hate psycopathy for Shia's and Secular governments in the Region as their top killers priority in sectarian cleansing.

Imo, Iran is way in front compared to the Zionists, in ISIL's order of targets to attack.

Posted by: tom | May 19, 2015 8:04:46 PM | 17

@14 Gee I hope I didn't drive you to Huff Post. I wouldn't wish that on anybody.

So you think the US is serious about ISIS. What's the plan? A Caliphate in Baghdad? Pipelines to Latakia? Kurdish independence?.. (Turks may not like that). Shia submission?

Posted by: dh | May 19, 2015 8:41:46 PM | 18

@6 brad... i don't imagine much has changed since that document in 2012, aside from usa politicians speaking regularly out of both sides of their mouths on the issue of regime change..

@9 tom.. i can't make you out.. sure the iraq army is incompetent, but how did that happen exactly other then the regime change move of the usa's from 12 or more years ago? @17 tom - sounds crazy. i can see where DM is coming from..

@18 dh.. thanks for the laugh. no, please do wish that on some folks around here..

Posted by: james | May 19, 2015 9:57:07 PM | 19

@19 dh.

Name all the US bombing campaigns against ISIL that has been serious, long and punishing enough, to defeat ISIL for the direction they are spreading ? After what, the last 5 years ?

If the Iraqi "army" has has billions spend on it by the US, has itself spend hundreds of millions more on it's own army, with a far larger supposed "army" with superior numbers and equipment, that has frequently lost to ISIL in Iraq, is the genociadal US empire to blame more, or is all the advantages the Iraqi army has to blame more for it's devastating defeats to a jihadi terrorist army.
The evil US empire is plently to blame, but that the likes of Nouri-al-Maliki is not hanging by the nearest lamp-post for complete national defensive incompetence and corruption is staggering to me. I blame both. Why exclude ? there plenty of blame to go around.

with @19, I'm looking a past the current planned murderous chaos to try to get into the mind of the Empire. Nothing wrong with seeing how far the genocidal, dominationist US empire in decline is willing to commit further horrors.

Posted by: tom | May 19, 2015 10:25:33 PM | 20

@ #1: "Remember: every pothole that goes unfilled in your neighborhood means the islamic shit state gets to make another beheading video. "God bless" america."

LOL,but, an apt analogy.

Posted by: ben | May 19, 2015 10:42:57 PM | 21

@ 20 I don't know where the 'billions' went. Iraq hasn't had an effective army since Brennan disbanded it.

I'm just trying to understand the US position regarding ISIS. I agree with b. Seems to me the US isn't seriously trying to stop ISIS. It will take more than a few bombs. Why not pressure the Saudis to cut off support? What is in all this for the US?

Or maybe like ColinJames says in #5 they've created a monster and it's out of control.

Posted by: dh | May 19, 2015 10:48:10 PM | 22

@21 Sorry that should be Bremer. The "De-Ba'thification" guy.

Posted by: dh | May 19, 2015 10:58:18 PM | 23

If the ISIS "threat" was taken seriously, then a major effort to interdict supply lines and to dry up the flow of money and resources from nominal allies in the region would have been engaged. This has not happened. Instead: inconsistent and at times totally ineffective bombing runs, with attendant press releases, and Pentagon briefings which claim that the "threat" will take upwards of several decades to eradicate and will require a physical military presence through that time period. ISIS is a great excuse for reversing the loss of permanent bases in Iraq.

Posted by: jayc | May 19, 2015 11:18:00 PM | 24

This is the equation that sums it all up: ISIS == US

Posted by: Arius | May 20, 2015 12:04:42 AM | 25

@ dh | 21

I'm just trying to understand the US position regarding ISIS.

Its quite simple - ISIS, AN and other "freedom fighters" are US and co proxy forces to achieve their geopolitical goals.

1. Destruction of Syria, if this goal would have been achieved faster like it was in Libya, these Al Qaeda franchises would already be transferred to the new target - Iran, after that to Russia's south or China's volatile region.

2. Iraq was getting too close with Iran and dared to kicked out US army, therefore ISIS and Kurds (both US puppets) coordinated attack on the state significantly weakened it, opened the doors for Kurds independence and returned Iraq to US sphere of influence. I bet permanent bases incoming soon.

3. If Syria's north is overtaken by Al Qaeda and kurds, the pipeline project would go ahead to the great satisfaction of the West and Gulf monarchies.

4. If Al Qaeda would win in Syria, many goals would be achieved: puppet installed, ties with Iran and Hezbollah severed, nobody would raise Golan's question anymore, also Israel already grabbed more territory in recent years, and would occupy even more if Al Qaeda wins, etc. If Hezbollah is weakened, Israel might try to occupy Lebanon again.

These are just off the top of my head, I'm sure there are more plans for Al Qaeda (ISIS, AN, or whatever new re-branding they do). Therefore any illusion of ISIS as "West enemy" is just a PR campaign and for some reason some fell victim to this propaganda.

Posted by: Harry | May 20, 2015 1:36:39 AM | 26

Then it makes sense for the French media to sing the memo "daesh is here to stay, it is a functional state". With these guys around, Syria/Iraq will never be in peace and the Gulf allies will be buying weapons from our Western factories for a thousand years. Whenever the masses say "why selling weapons to these autocratic states" they ll be fed with another -served on a golden plate- massacre or slaves market story in the news.

Posted by: Mina | May 20, 2015 2:53:00 AM | 27

Agree with you Harry @25. Syria and Iran must acknowledge the Gulfies and Turkey are out to destroy them. What can they do? Iran/Syria don't have 20,000 fanatic Takferis at their disposal. But surely they have the wherewithal to "employ" some bad actors. Along the lines of "You have a wonderful oil terminal there, wouldn't like anything to happen to it, know what I mean Guvnor?"

Posted by: harry law | May 20, 2015 9:07:26 AM | 28

Thanks Harry.

The ISIS = US theory seems pretty well established. Obviously some people will profit from a Wahabbi Caliphate but I can foresee a lot of complications.

Seems to me the US, and the world would be better off with stable secular governments in the region.....but perhaps I'm just old-fashioned.

Posted by: dh | May 20, 2015 9:12:02 AM | 29

28;Israel wouldn't like that,as the people hate Israel,and that can't be expressed,hence dictators and chaos.

Posted by: dahoit | May 20, 2015 9:48:50 AM | 30

Iraqi Troops Abandon US-Made Tanks, Artillery to ISIS in Ramadi Loss

When ISIS took the Iraqi city of Mosul last year, they seized an army’s worth of US-made weaponry and vehicles. The US air war against ISIS over the last nine months has centered in great measure on destroying that gear, while ferrying new gear to the Iraqi military.

Then Ramadi fell over the weekend, and it’s Mosul all over again. Despite the US downplaying the significance of the loss, the Pentagon is confirming that half a dozen tanks and significant artillery and armored vehicles, along with other gear, were abandoned by Iraqi troops fleeing the Anbar capital.

Doesn't take a lot of imagination to envision the pay-off to the Iraqi army to run and leave the keys in their tanks for ISIS. Gold beats lead in your back pocket everytime. Just as it does for ISIS foot soldiers ... fighting their phony foes. In a region as devastated as Iraq/Syria it's amazing what a few 10s of billion of dollars can buy.

It's all the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate's doing. Public Enemy Number One, worldwide. War Criminal Supreme. He took the job and responsibility for all the evil he's done in the Oval Office since. The death, devastation, and destruction could never have taken place without the imprimatur of the POTUS. And thats BOb ... the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate/Arch War Criminal.

Posted by: jfl | May 20, 2015 10:06:35 AM | 31

I would focus on the dog that did not bark. Shia militias were successfully sidelined from the operations after Tikrit, and American air support (and other support) was suppose to make the difference and make the campaign against the ISIS more effective and "less divisive". The fact is that to overcome tactics of ISIS you need a lot of motivated troops.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | May 20, 2015 11:05:44 AM | 32

Who can forget the excitement of the Arab Spring? Freedom and democracy were in the air. The BBC was ecstatic! Young Western educated technocrats would replace the old corrupt leaders. Well....not quite yet.

Posted by: dh | May 20, 2015 11:51:52 AM | 33

Seems to that the Obama admin and his zio enablers want there to be a sunni sultanate, driving the shia influence out of the way. Once they get 'their man' in charge of (al queda&isil)-stan, it would concievably be saudi arabia 2.0, or maybe Jordan 2.0. Of course, all the foreigners that traveled from the west will need to either be confined to their new home, or get droned out of existence.

The nuclear 'deal' is keeping iran from doing much in response, and the south stream sabotage and Ukraine (among other things?) are keeping Russia from doing much either.

For such strategic value as Syria is to Iran, why hasn't a volunteer army been raised to counter the threat? Iraq has shia militias, but they are on a leash and don't seem to have anywhere near the numbers as their opponents

Posted by: DamascusFalling | May 20, 2015 12:56:26 PM | 34

ISIS victories -- not a bug, a feature

Posted by: ira | May 20, 2015 1:35:26 PM | 35

I'm sure, b, you will be commenting on Bin Laden's reading list. Bin Laden read Chomsky, wow! And of course the pornography. Sexual accusations are the norm, as Craig Murray bears witness.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 20, 2015 2:37:45 PM | 36

I don't agree with posters above, that ISIS was a deliberate product of US policy. It's more like blow-back, an unintended product which suits Israel, and because it also suits Saudi and Turkey, is impossible to get rid of. These three supporters mean that the US is lumbered with it, and consequently looks weak. Obama is not up to making a decision. I'm not sure that a more decisively pro-Israel president, such as Hillary, will be better off.

More likely that the ISIS state will have to be allowed to survive. However, after my long experience of Islamic History, I would say that a state between the Euphrates and the Tigris, in the area called al-Jazira (the island), is unlikely to be stable.

Of course, today, now that they have taken Ramadi, everyone is in fear that ISIS will take Baghdad. Unlikely. ISIS have not shown ability to take Shi'a areas, and I would think they will stop around Abu Ghraib, which is half Sunni and half Shi'a. The Shi'a militia's hooray counterattack is not a good decision.

ISIS have well mastered the new tactic in the Middle East. Infiltrate and take over an urban area. Then withdraw most of the troops, and leave a few to fight from house to house, to bleed the counter-attackers to death. Stalingrad all over again.

That's what happened in Aleppo, and is now multiplied everywhere. It is why barrel-bombs and starving out quarters, the practice of the Syrian regime.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 20, 2015 3:53:45 PM | 37

@37 I like that assessment. The only thing I would add is that, intentional or not, the US efforts to deal with ISIS look puny. Of course they have a readymade scapegoat in the Iraqi army.

Posted by: dh | May 20, 2015 4:09:06 PM | 38

I knew there would be an emotional response to this Islamic State victory but I didn't expect b to begin channeling John McCain with a Bomb-Bomb-Bomb IS rant or is it John Wayne's Omnipotent and Omnipresent USA, to the rescue that he desires.

The US along with seven other countries are bombing the hell out much of Iraq and they hit Ramadi four times yesterday taking out the dreaded 'excavator' but that isn't enough, they must be on target always, which is impossible, ready to attack the IS when they display their flag.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 20, 2015 4:16:58 PM | 39

As Laguerre says ISIS have mastered the ne tactics. There are only a few ISIS fighting house to house. So bombing is pretty ineffective. Unlike Gaza where it's possible to bomb civilian areas with impunity.

Posted by: dh | May 20, 2015 4:32:22 PM | 40

By the way, I've just heard from my email-line from the States, that Palmyra has fallen to ISIS. I wanted to reply that if the US had done more to support the Syrian government, this would not have happened. But I didn't because I thought that it would not be appreciated. It's the classic ISIS tactic all over again.

Posted by: Laguerre | May 20, 2015 4:51:08 PM | 41

@41 I was fortunate to visit Palmyra many years ago. The ruins there are spectacular. If ISIS start bulldozing no doubt Assad will get the blame.

Posted by: dh | May 20, 2015 4:56:51 PM | 42

tom (and others) the US and Israel have (mostly) decided to support extremist Wahabbi Sunnis against Shiites (and Christians, etc) in this Turkish/Saudi Arabia pushed ME civil war.

Israel's 'reasoning' is bizarre, but seems to be driven by its hatred of Hezbollah. Their (stated)desire to have an extremist Sunni state on their border is insane, but they are blinded by their unending desire to grab southern Lebanon. In their 'minds', IS after it takes over Syria then takes out Hezbollah, will then welcome (with waved flags) the Israeli troops marching into Lebanon. Turkey seems to have similar delusions about northern (or all of) Syria in its desire for a 'new Caliphate'.

The Saudi's seem slightly more realistic, as long as Shiites, Allawites, Christians, etc are exterminated then they are happy. But they are probably also suffering the delusion that IS & AN will start taking direct orders from them in their 'new Caliphate' once the whole ME becomes a Wahabbi Sunni playpen.

The US's position is confused as usual but three powerful political lobby groups (Israel, SA and Turkey) are pushing for it (with their various mouthpieces) so it is going along with this, plus it sees a way (in its own mad dreams)to indirectly attack Russia and China as well. All of those three want the US to bomb Syria, put troops on the ground, etc, then I/SA want them afterwards to attack Iran.

US 'deep state' dreams are probably along the lines of: it probably doesn't really give a toss about Syria or Iraq or Lebanon, except in as far as it is being pushed by its I/SA/T fifth columnists. It would love IS and AN to move into Russia's southern border and the Chinese western areas to cause havok there.

That's why I call them the 'coalition of the mad'. Their contradictory motivations and 'plans' border on the insane. And they all forget there are other (and much smarter) players involved......

Posted by: Lisa | May 20, 2015 5:04:32 PM | 43

@37 i agree that ISIL was probably a monkey wrench for US initially, but they are trying to use ISIL as a means to achieving their objectives - namely destroy the Assad regime and remove Iran/Hezbollah influence in the region.

USA is accomplishing this by doing as little as possible, while browbeating Iran, Syria and Russia/China in the meantime.

Posted by: DamascusFalling | May 20, 2015 5:12:56 PM | 44

quite a provocative story line that has been kept out of the western msm.. israel defense ministers comments on iran....

Posted by: james | May 20, 2015 5:13:16 PM | 45


Oded Yinon continues.
It was never something they could accomplish on their own anyway, and having AmeriKan boots on the ground for several years leveling the place didn't play well in Peoria.
The proxy "holy warriors" will do all the things they need them to do, at half the political cost. Nothing like AmeriKan money and know-how to really get a project moving, eh?
How many times USSA accidentally dropped weapons and supplies to ISIS? More than once isn't a coincidence. How many times has the Iraqi Army decided to run instead of fighting, conveniently gifting ISIS more heavy gear?

Here's a good barometer on who is happy with what - how does Saudi-Israelia feel about unfolding events? Good, bad, or indifferent? One sure bet is, they don't feel like the pawns here.
And Obama acts like a hapless puppet being lead around by the nose by these assholes, no question. The Lobbies of these nations possess the gold, so they make the rules.

Posted by: farflungstar | May 20, 2015 5:21:49 PM | 46

Why should the US take Baghdadi's threat seriously?

These terrorists are only a threat to the enemies of USA and specifically Israel.

For Israel manage and keep up the demonisation of all of the islamic world and specifically Iran, they must up the ante on the fear and threats, since the old tricks are worn out. A bigger shock must be produced, and something entirely different from mere bombings and material destruction.

If something happens, wherever and whatever happens, keep your eyes, ears and analytical mind open. Because I am sure that Israel will benefit most from it - again.

Posted by: Stefan | May 20, 2015 6:49:27 PM | 47

And as b proved, the US is doing very little to battle ISIS. It would be very easy to send drones to drop some missiles down onto the ISIS parades. The US does this daily in Pakistan without worrying about the costs. But they allow ISIS their propaganda victories, and the Western MSM - which we know is now a very small puddle and subject to the influence of the DoD, the Saudi government, Israel, Qatar. And they seem more than happy to help spread ISIS propaganda. A long ways from when we used to laugh at the foibles of "Baghdad Bob" because at the very least it boosted morale. A long way from when George W. Bush called news channels "unpatriotic" for airing the Bin Laden videos..

There is only one thing to conclude, and that is that the United States - wether it created ISIS or not - is being pushed to support it. And the reasons are clear: tension at home, the destruction of Hezbollah for Israel, a Muslim Brotherhood state in Syria fro Turkey, and the creation of a Wahabi bulwark against Iran for the Saudis.

When the right in the US calls for "stronger action against ISIS" they most certainly mean large numbers of US troops to Iraq, and the commencement of an air assault on Syria. This means a direct war with the Shia in Iraq except this time Russia and Iran will be even more eager to make trouble than they were during the Iraq war. It is a 100% losing scenario for the US as far as I can see. It may well turn out to be the quagmire the US narrowly avoided getting to immersed into in the 2003-2010 Iraq War (avoided mostly by the using the vicious and cynical tactic of sparking a civil war in the country it was occupying, leading us from "cakewalk that pays for itself" to "entire middle east in a liquid borderless war" we find today).

Posted by: guest77 | May 20, 2015 8:02:50 PM | 48

When I say "being pushed"... maybe "finds is advantageous" is a better term.

Posted by: guest77 | May 20, 2015 8:04:11 PM | 49


The gist of the matter : Closing Address and Q&A at "Towards a New Law of War" (pdf, p.7)

This is my job, [Moshe Ya'alon] Minister of Defense. This is a commander's job, to say clearly our position. At the end the attorney general can decide whatever he decides, hopefully, according to this delicate line which I illustrated.

Now those who claim that this battle is not fair because democracy can't fight back tyrannical regimes, not [to mention] terror organizations, I don't agree with it.

In certain cases we might take certain steps that we believe ... should be taken in order to defend ourselves. I mentioned the discussion about the interception of the rockets positioned on civilian houses. We decided to do it. I can't imagine some other step that should be taken. Of course, we should be sure that we can look [in] the mirror after the decision or operation. Of course, we should be sure that it is a military necessity. We should consider costs and benefits, of course, but at the end we might take certain steps.

I do remember the story of President Truman, who was asked, "how did you feel after deciding to launch the nuclear bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end [200,000 fatalities]?" And he said, "when I heard from my officers that the alternative is a long war with Japan, with potential fatalities of a couple of million, I saw that it is a moral decision." We are not there yet. But that's what I'm talking about: certain steps in cases in which we feel like we don't have the answer by surgical operations or something like that.

This is typical of the Israeli line : don't talk about what we do, talk about what you've done. Move the conversation away from the present and decisions that are being made in the present, actions which can be taken or not, and move the conversation to the immutable past, and based on that immutability transform the conversation from one on actions taken or not to be taken to one on 'essences', on moral purity and impurity and essential baseness and guilt.

And people fall for it every time. Israel is, at least Moshe Ya'alon and the 'hard-line' are, preparing the world for its use of nuclear weapons.

It's not unlike Madeline Albright asking, ""What's the point of you saving this superb military for, Colin, if we can't use it?".

If we zc's continue to sit on our thumbs on our couches we will get exactly what is unfolding before us, not on the MSM - which no one takes seriously any longer, but on the real news that pops up here and there and of which we are all conscious and well-aware.

Thanks for the link. Abysmal as it is.

Posted by: jfl | May 20, 2015 8:09:51 PM | 50

Gotta wonder what kind of signal Yaalon is looking for here. If the Iran nuclear talks succeed he still won't trust Iran. If they fail it's status quo i.e Iran may or may not have a bomb or two. How will he know precisely if/when 'certain steps' are necessary?

Posted by: dh | May 20, 2015 9:07:50 PM | 51

I'll take a wild guess and say the people that were behind 911 are the same people behind Isis.

Posted by: Ron | May 20, 2015 9:19:11 PM | 52

Hubris and ignorance are toxic combination. Turkey, USA and Israel financed and armed the Sunnis to overthrow the Syrian government and neuter Hezbollah. The Saudis paid them to severe the Shiite crescent to the North. After a quarter century war with America the Iraqi Sunni surviving fighters turned on their paymasters/controllers and formed their own state. The Pentagon is delusional thinking that the Shiites can reconquer Anbar Province. The Shiite militia will be hard pressed, even with American air support, just to defend Baghdad and the towns and villages to the South.

Reconquering Anbar Province by NATO will take a million men minimum and could start a regional Shiite Sunni war which could go nuclear. Just like the misadventure in Ukraine which threw Russia and China into each other's arms; Iraq is now partitioned and the real goal of the Islamic State is their victory parade in Mecca.

Posted by: VietnamVet | May 20, 2015 9:50:54 PM | 53

US, Saudi and Israel obviously want to create a sunni-shia war. But they are delusional if they think they can contain the war and keep it from spreading

Posted by: mir | May 20, 2015 10:57:07 PM | 54

All one has to Remember is that the US evil terrorist domination-ist genocidal shitheads, funded and supported the Nazi's and Soviets before the breakout of WW2. So what are the consequences of WW2 that the US help kickstart compared to supporting ISIL now ? That peanuts on the evil empires CV. ISIL control is on such a smaller scale in this recent time frame ( more on that later ), that the idea the the US is now being led, manipulated, exploiting an advantage etc - leaves the impression that the US is not an empire that takes the lead at all. Leaves me wondering how they got to be an empire at all in the first place. Not really.

Or how about the US supporting/causing the Iraq vs Iran in their war.

Or How about getting most european leaders, in this yet early stage, to escalate the Ukrainian subjugation of eastern Ukrainians with mostly nazis, as well us that to set up opposing sides between Russia/China and the US and it's puppet European "leaders", for a future global conflict. Which btw is the most serious, yet early, escalation of what I think Is the setting up of sides for WW3 - all kickstarted by the US empire.

If the US can do all that horror and evil in the past, and is now setting up WW3, why is it plausible that they are simply riding along the ISIL wave ? Or letting their State puppets like Israel and the Saudis take charge. Have you seen the map of US military bases and firepower in the middle east. It's shocking. Then compare that map to the number of Israel or Saudi military bases across the whole middle east. Oops.

If the shia resistance domino theory is being executed right now exactly as the empire wanted, and I think planned when using terrorist jihadist proxies, why would the US empire let lesser powerful allies play it out their way ?

Posted by: tom | May 20, 2015 11:54:01 PM | 55

interesting speculation on isis and etc from christoph germann may 19th..

Posted by: james | May 21, 2015 12:11:17 AM | 56

Just read this from Brad Cabana - a great summary of what has already been mentioned here

Posted by: DamascusFalling | May 21, 2015 12:49:03 AM | 57

@ Laguerre | 37

I don't agree with posters above, that ISIS was a deliberate product of US policy. It's more like blow-back, an unintended product

Lets recap the history: Al Qaeda was created by US in Afghanistan. With yet another re-branding as ISIS was led by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was imprisoned by US in 2004. Later Baghdadi was released and he with thousands of his man underwent US training, was financed and armed, even had press events with high ranking US officials like McCain.

Since ISIS was created as a boogyman, US pretended its an enemy, but did nothing to stop them. Some cosmetic bombing by the biggest airforce in the World if ISIS overreach in Kurds areas, while Syria's small airforce does 100x more bombing than "the West's coalition". US also dropped loads of weapons to ISIS, many times. When shia's militias were winning over ISIS in Iraq, US hard-pressed Iraq to withdraw these militias from the fighting against ISIS, and one US official said they prefer ISIS winning.

US could easily press its Saudi puppet to withdraw the financing of ISIS, but havent done that either.

Speaking about blow-back, where do you see it? ISIS 100% serves US geopolitical goals, I havent seen them attacking US, or Israel, or Saudis, only the countries US wants ISIS to attack. Also ISIS promised to bring war to Iran, Russia and China, you think its all coincidents?

Now if ISIS organize some terror act in US, this could mean one of two things:

a) Terror act with cooperation with US (a la Northwood project), to limit civil rights of Americans even more (US already on the fast track to become full-fledged police state), while 9/11 v2.0 would help to increase military spending, and probably new wars.

b) A blow-back by some ISIS splinter-cell, which would help achieving goals in a) just the same. Americans are expendable for elites, as long as ISIS serve US interests in ME very nicely.

Posted by: Harry | May 21, 2015 1:19:36 AM | 58

b ends his post with "But whatever warning the Obama administration will get, its current behavior shows that it will, like the Bush administration, not take it seriously."

Well, yeah.

If the USA took the threat of ISIS seriously then we'd know it, because the USA would throw away its obvious distaste for the government of Bashir Assad and would, instead, give him whatever help is required for him to crush ISIS.

But they don't, which means that it is indisputable that the USA's distain for a man who is no threat to the USA is regarded by this Administration as far outweighing any "threat" that ISIS poses to the US National Interest.

QED. The USA sees no "threat" in ISIS whatsoever.

Because - du'oh! - if they did regard ISIS as any sort of threat then they'd hold their nose and place "wiping out ISIS" about "sticking it to Assad" in their to-do list.

Which they refuse to do, and that tells you everything you need to know about how much of a "threat" ISIS is to the USA.

Or what the USA laughably describes as its "allies".

Posted by: Johnboy | May 21, 2015 1:23:10 AM | 59

I know Gwynne Dyer is not "too popular" on this blog but he made some sensible comments (already) back in 2004.

The (messy) situation in the Middle East is the result of (predominantly) US foreign policy since - at least - 1979.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 21, 2015 2:21:00 AM | 60

Laguerre et al.
Someone here posted this yesterday. Apparently it's not a hoax
What other option but selling more weapons has the west to help its economy recover? Even cell phones companies went bankrupt.
And given the location of Palmyra and Ramadi, it helps cutting the highway Tehran-Damascus-Beirut.

It was part of a federal court ordered declassification after a lawsuit filed by a conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch.

Original Aug. 2012 highly redacted DIA doc is published here:

Document itself shows it was widely circulated among U.S. agencies. It at the very least reveals that Washington is willing to consider fueling and using sectarian division in Middle East for its own strategic objectives. Discusses nascent “Islamic State” (then merely AQI) as potentially useful by “West” to “ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…”


Interpret contents however you want, but State Dept. and DOD itself says this is a real declassified document. See mainstream media reporting on trove of docs here:

Posted by: Mina | May 21, 2015 2:52:54 AM | 61

@Mina: Interesting.

But this has been documented many times before. (Scott, In the FOX News report the emphasis is laid too heavily on Hillary Clinton's role in Benghazi.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 21, 2015 3:09:10 AM | 62

The witnesses in these areas back then in 2012 were the first to speak of numerous Chechen fighters and their despicable practices. The Americans and Westerners helped Turkey in bringing them to the party.

Posted by: Mina | May 21, 2015 4:14:33 AM | 63

farflungstar @46

And Obama acts like a hapless puppet being lead around by the nose by these assholes, no question. The Lobbies of these nations possess the gold, so they make the rules.

Good take but much to agree and disagree with there. It's funny how the Obama hopers _still_ portray him as "a hapless puppet being lead around by the nose by ... assholes." But we shouldn't be fooled by the hapless part. That's an act too. Obama has always been slick PR frosting for whoever pays top dollar, and never had any intention to be a 'real' President. He's there to be bought and to sell what the people who bought him want sold. That's all he is and all he has ever been or wanted to be. Uninvolved except for image management. In fact it's funny how his top 'foreign policy advisors', the people he has around him daily in the White House are image managers and speechwriters. That's as far as he's ever gone in foreign policy management.

The second sentence is just wrong: "The Lobbies of these nations possess the gold, so they make the rules." No, the lobbies of those three nations don't have the most gold, Wall Street writ large, the Western bankers fraternity (including their captured institutions), is number 1, everyone knows it, and subsidiary entities like Turkey and Saudi Arabia are trying to advance their interests within the game the bankers have set. The bankers' big picture is encircling and attacking Russia and China, and eventually pulling them in as subordinate players in the West's financial empire. If the anti-Shia ethnic cleansing fits that plan, fine. When and if it doesn't, no go.

But, Israel is not the same as Turkey or Saudi Arabia. I wonder how much its lobby, (figuratively speaking) on the inside at the bankers' headquarters, influences and distorts the fraternity's perspective on reality. Surely ripping Iran from China and Russia's grasp is essential in a long-term great game against those two giants. On the other hand, the West normalizing relations with Iran is virulently opposed by Israel.

I don't think a pipeline across an Al-Qaeda or ISIS controlled northern Syria is realistic thinking in the short or medium term, is it? Not that Qatar, which desperately wants that, is a realistic-thinking place ...

Posted by: fairleft | May 21, 2015 4:35:31 AM | 64

evidently the iranian embassy in damascus has been destroyed with many casualities

Posted by: mcohen | May 21, 2015 4:45:47 AM | 65

I dont get it, so now we are supposed to support US attacks in Syria? Come on now.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 21, 2015 7:56:57 AM | 66

USA just wants to control the situation. They are mostly attacking ISILs that attack Kurdish enclaves, along with some token attacks for the Iraqi army. It's just enough to give the impression that the USA is in control of the situation by presstitutes, when in fact it's doing little to nothing.

If USA were not meddling at all in the region, I would imagine that there'd be a widescale operation already launched by Iran.
Since it's tied up in nuclear-deal-hell, and having to operate around US involvement, they are being very cautious.

IMHO Iran needs to raise a volunteer, army with a secular mandate to defend govt-held territory and uphold 'democracy'; bypass the Anbar province and filter into Syria to bolster the Assad regime and smash al queda, then start offering truce terms with ISIL.

Then maybe they can tell the USA that they can play with ISILstan all they want to, but a peaceful co-existence between ordinary Shia and Sunni is essential to the region having any sort of future

Just my 2 cents at this moment

Posted by: DamascusFalling | May 21, 2015 10:43:19 AM | 67

Anthony Blinken US Deputy Sec State said on China's South China Sea forces.“Its behaviour threatens to set a new precedent whereby larger countries are free to intimidate smaller ones, and that provokes tensions, instability and can even lead to conflict.” You could not make it up.

Posted by: harry law | May 21, 2015 11:14:43 AM | 68

Conn Hallinan:

There WAS a sandstorm and that interrupted the US airstrikes. And ISIS took advantage of it.

ISIS was ABLE to take Ramadi under the cover of the sandstorm. That begs the question: When are the monsoon rains going to start ? It would/could prevent any sandstorms from happening and offer the US the opportunity to bomb Ramadi (again).

If ISIS wants to pull another "Ramadi Surprise" then I assume they will "make their move" under the cover of another sandstorm. would make perfect sense to me.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 21, 2015 1:03:21 PM | 69

@69 "If ISIS wants to pull another "Ramadi Surprise" then I assume they will "make their move" under the cover of another sandstorm. would make perfect sense to me."

Yeah, because the science of predicting a sandstorm is so precise, right?
Or do they "pray one up" when they are ready to go! go! go! ?

Be real, Willy2. An assault force needs to move itself into position, prepare itself, and ready all those suicide trucks.

And then..... what, exactly? They all sit around an play Monopoly while they wait for the sandstorm to blow in?

I can understand a fortunate happenstance i.e. you get ready to assault a city, and a sandstorm blows in, so ya' think "Man, that's lucky. Best not to waste it".

But actually plan your attacks around sandstorms?

Nah. What if the sandstorms refuse to appear?

Posted by: Johnboy | May 21, 2015 6:23:31 PM | 70

- Good point. But I also would assume that the iraqis have good knowledge on when sandstorms are ocurring.
- There could be another explanation for the Ramadi "surprise". I could imagine that iraqi forces were deployed on another front (think Tikrit).

Posted by: Willy2 | May 22, 2015 12:47:55 PM | 71


With all the talk of "blowback" and "incompetence" it's like Gobshyte-Central in here

You vacuous buffoons never learn do ya?

Old morons never die, they just end up at MOA to talk obviously clueless shyte about "blowback" and "incompetence" like the cretinous gobshytes they are

Posted by: limited hangouts | May 22, 2015 5:25:58 PM | 72

Cheney incompetent ? Yes & No. Cheney had simply other plans (i.e. invade Afghanistan). Back then the US was already planning that invasion.

Hijacking planes, bomb attacks were things happening in the Middle East & Europe in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s. Not in the US. That's why it's not surprising Cheney didn't believe the threat of Al Qaida attacking the US.

Posted by: Willy2 | May 24, 2015 6:11:57 AM | 73

The U.S. does not take the Islamic State seriously. It is as if Obama has decided that a Jihadist state in east-Syria and west-Iraq is a bright idea that should be given full support. Do his people and those U.S. experts on Saudi/Qatari payrolls tell him that the Islamic State is no danger to U.S. interests? They are wrong.


First time I've checked this place in nearly a year. So weird to see the antiwar and anti-imperialist bastion sounding like the Republican Party hawks upbraiding Obama for holding back in the war against Jihadists. Christopher Hitchens must be smiling down in hell about this mutation.

Posted by: Louis Proyect | May 25, 2015 1:31:25 PM | 74

Louis, you dork. "I haven't come by in a year" - sure you haven't, cool guy. You posted here as recently as a couple of months ago.

You'll never convince me that someone would waste their time impersonating you, you dull idiot, so don't even try.

Posted by: guest77 | May 25, 2015 7:18:05 PM | 75

Louis @74: The main analysis here is that the U.S. _is_ Al Qaeda/ISIS/Al Nusra and whatever other monikers the Saudis and the masters come up with for their Sunni fundamentalist murderers. This has been going on since the early '80s so you're way way behind the curve.

Posted by: fairleft | May 26, 2015 1:27:40 AM | 76


I should thank you and Rufie for supplying me with a good morning laugh on a dependable schedule. Calling rumor based speculations 'analysis' is a knee-slapper almost as humorous as Rufie's claim that Nuke power is 'safe'. Keep up the good work we need more humor in these trying times.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | May 26, 2015 11:07:53 AM | 77

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