Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
June 17, 2014

No, Baghdad Did Not Collapse

Yossi Melman is "an Israeli writer and journalist. He was an intelligence and strategic affairs correspondent for the Haaretz newspaper, and in 2012 he joined the Israeli news portal Walla! in a similar, more analytical role."

Melman just tweeted:

#Baghdad collapses. Shells on US & Iran Embassies Premier Maliki left. Chief of Staff escaped yo Germany. Heavy casualties to Iran forces


Pat Lang clearly believes that such an offense in Baghdad by the remnants of the Baathist Iraqi military with ISIS takfiris as its shock troops is possible. He urges immediate evacuation of U.S. personal. But I believe there is only a rather small chance that such could happen. Various Shia militia are deploying to secure Baghdad and other cities and Iranian advisers are on the ground. Iran sees the onslaught as a US/Israeli/Saudi/Qatari conspiracy and will act accordingly.

The U.S. has conditioned any involvement on the Iraqi government side on a change in its structure towards some "unity government" that would include representatives of the rebellious Sunni strains. Prime Minister Maliki, who received good results in the reecent elections, will see no reason to go for that. 

I expect a repeat in Iraq of what has happened in Syria. The government forces retreat from the first onslaughts by ISIS, the Baathists and other forces but will then consolidate and slowly, slowly regain the upper hand and ground.

Mehlman's tweet sounds to me like the "Aleppo has fallen" panic a certain Syria "expert" created 20 month ago. Funny. by the way, how none of the journalists in Baghdad confirms any point of what Yossi Melman is asserting. Maybe some Mossad commander was daydreaming and told him about it?

Posted by b on June 17, 2014 at 10:24 UTC | Permalink

next page »


Yes, but Argentina did collapse, ...and you won't hear a single word from Israel.

Posted by: chip nikh | Jun 17 2014 10:51 utc | 1

Dont tell me the Israelis are still trying to get
the US to use any excuse to attack the Iranians again?

They've already got the US in enough trouble as it is.

Posted by: chris m | Jun 17 2014 10:55 utc | 2

Melman just tweeted:

#Baghdad collapses. Shells on US & Iran Embassies Premier Maliki left. Chief of Staff escaped yo Germany. Heavy casualties to Iran forces

The same generic nice Jewish boys and girls also said the sky is falling is Libya and Syria. For the same reasons.

Maybe it is time people stopped paying any attention to them?

Posted by: scalawag | Jun 17 2014 11:03 utc | 3

b, here's someone who agrees with you. Mostly.

The Future of ISIS and the Sectarian Response: ISIS has Picked a Fight it Cannot Win
Posted by Joshua on Sunday, June 15th, 2014
The Future of ISIS in Iraq and the Sectarian Response – by Joshua Landis

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 17 2014 11:11 utc | 4

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 17, 2014 7:11:50 AM | 4

Him and Juan Cole are the usual suspects.

They are trying to engineer a new Iraq/Iran war.

Interview of an Iraqi writer - in German, Swiss paper

Short translation: Baghdad will fall, I am sure of that. The extremists want to continue to Kerbala, then to Iran. The extremists have created a state from Iraq to the Levant, a rich state as they got the oil from Iraqi cities. And they claim parts of Lebanon and Jordan. I was in Baghdad in April, even then, ISIS men were in Abu Ghraib on the border to Baghdad. Saudi Arabia is the winner, it is good for the price of oil. And it is good for the weapons industry.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2014 11:35 utc | 5

And part of all this discussion now serves the intention to frame the conflict in the media - to be Sunni against Shia which almost certainly is not the case though used by the interested parties.

This here is what Sistani actually said. you will find all over the media now the wrong information that he rallied Shiites. He did not. He spoke to strengthen Iraqi state institutions

On June 13 during the Friday sermon, preachers encouraged those capable to take up arms and volunteer with security forces to fight terrorism.

Sheikh Abdel Mahdi Karbalai, the official spokesman for Sistani, was one of these preachers.

Karbalai, however, did not mention anything related to jihad and did not call on Shiites to fight Sunnis.

He instead said that “everyone needs to get prepared morally and physically to confront the enemies.”

Al-Monitor contacted a prominent figure in Sistani’s office to verify statements that local and international websites attributed to him. The figure said the news was inaccurate, and clarified Sistani's stance:

First, we called on those who are able to take up arms to volunteer, provided that they do so under the auspices of security agencies, and only in a legal way.
Second, volunteering is a public duty that aims to fill the shortage security agencies are facing in order to fight the enemies. Volunteering is not for everybody and is used according to need. Also, school and college students should stay away from this issue and dedicate their time to education.
Third, volunteering should be legally and meticulously governed to avoid chaos and illegal acts, such as granting militias a role.

There is now this myth that Sistani issued a fatwa - he did not - and that Iranians are dying in Baghdad - they don't.

Iraq's disfunctional government is facing a rebellion. The part of the rebellion who do not wish to fight Iran for Saudi Arabia and Israel should get rid of their ISIS associates as fast as they can.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2014 11:53 utc | 6

When will the media tell the American people that ISIS is US? And, I don't think Baghdad is in ISIS's sights. I think we'd like to see Iraq fractured, the Sunnis and Kurds can form an independent state, isolate Assad and Hezbollah, it divides Eastern Iraq and puts them with Iran. What's not to like for Israel?

Posted by: scottindallas | Jun 17 2014 12:05 utc | 7

This is a regime change operation, as b said last week. The U.S., because its domestic public is still operating under the assumption that AQ and like groups are the enemy, must appear as if it is doing something -- mulling over attack options, talking with Iran about strategy -- to help Iraq. But the target here is Maliki and the Iraqi government. I think something like Lebanon is the desired outcome -- a quota system that leads to permanent paralysis, effectively removing Iraq from the chessboard; and barring that, a caliphate.

The unanimity of the Western pundit class in blaming Maliki for everything that has gone wrong with ISIS brings to mind similar treatment of Putin and Assad. And when one detects such univocal demonization there is certainly a rat in the house.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jun 17 2014 12:11 utc | 8

Baghdad has not collapsed but the psy-op is now fully launched.
Cockburn is right to compare it to the partition of India and the birth of Pakistan.
No matter how many deaths, the gruesome images available to who wants to know, the world power are going to sit and wait, and let the partition happen for Kurdistan to emerge. That's where the oil is, and being geographically closer to Central Asia and the South of Russia, it will be a new place for "containment".

Posted by: Mina | Jun 17 2014 12:29 utc | 9

What we can conclude unequivocally from all this, regardless of who owns a stake in ISIS and all other such groups, is that Iraq oil production will not be allowed to ramp up anytime soon, and that keeps the profits flowing to the WWON (World Wide Oligarch Network) in the form of artificially high oil prices — and they get to make further profits on top of that via taxpayer expense producing and selling arms to feckless Potemkin governments (Houses of Cards) to be confiscated by groups like ISIS whom all vested interests have a piece of in sowing chaos and discord in a permanent strategy of tension and conflict to rationalize the high oil prices. The religious bullshit is cover and a distraction, and the play-by-play analysis renders one too myopic to see the forest for the trees. It really doesn't matter whether Baghdad collapses today, tomorrow, a year from now, a decade from now or never. It's not the Big Picture. You can't collapse something that's already collapsed and now kept inflated by artificial means. Baghdad is a Puffer Fish.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jun 17 2014 12:43 utc | 10

No matter how many deaths, the gruesome images available to who wants to know, the world power are going to sit and wait, and let the partition happen for Kurdistan to emerge. That's where the oil is, and being geographically closer to Central Asia and the South of Russia, it will be a new place for "containment".

Makes no sense. Doesn't add up. The West was in Iraq for nine years before official withdrawal, so if that was the plan all along, it would have been done. Why wait until now to do by proxy subterfuge what could have been done then by official decree from the United Nations? And don't hand us the incompetence bullshit. This is not incompetence. The fact so many cling to the incompetence theory is proof of the duplicitous skill involved in controlling public opinion. Incompetence is containment of any potential criminal charges because the perps, who are far and wide, can claim "fog of war" at best and negligence at worst. Criminal intent is never on the table just as Single-Payer was never on the table with so-called healthcare reform.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jun 17 2014 12:50 utc | 11

My pessimistic vision from last week, after the fall of Mosul and on the eve of the impending Russian march into Ukraine.

There will be no Cold War 2.0 – The war we are in today will be a Global Class War. Nation states will be destroyed, everything will be turned into Tribalistan. The Empire will build fortress around key natural resources. They will be guarded by a hierarchy of mercenaries with US contractors on the top, European Nazis in the middle and local slaves on the bottom.

The people will be divided into violent tribes at constant war with each other. There will be international movements for decolonization and national liberation, but as the European Left has lost its soul and purpose it has nothing to give to the struggle. With Marxism and Leninism dead and buried there can no longer be any anti-fascist resistance. The leading anti-imperials force will be al-Qaeda.

Posted by: Petri Krohn | Jun 17 2014 12:51 utc | 12

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jun 17, 2014 8:11:40 AM | 8

yep. the rat is that nobody blames ISIS.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2014 12:54 utc | 13

Even Manning blames Maliki. But who could deny Maliki has kept with the worse practices and did nothing to solve the corruption problem?

Posted by: Mina | Jun 17 2014 13:10 utc | 14

"What's not to like for Israel?" posted by: scottindallas

Are you serious? Being surrounded by extremist-led jihad states who dream of bombing Israel to rubble should somehow be to Israels's liking? Please elaborate.

Posted by: T2015 | Jun 17 2014 13:23 utc | 15

A big element of the ISIS/ISIL run is that it's part of the larger orchestrated strategy to make certain the Neocons in the US are officially returned to power over all aspects of US intel, military and foreign policy come the 2016 elections. Given that these same Neocons currently in the Intelligence, State Department, and various government funded 'democracy promoting' organizations have been punking the feckless boobs in the current administration's so-called 'humanitarian interventionist', or R2P, ('Responsibility To Protect'), foreign policy team since the beginning, it's no surprise at all to many of us that these clever wargasm enthusiasts have deftly managed, with carefully applied bad guidance directed to analytically incompetent peole like Kerry, et. al., to set the broader Middle East region on fire, and go after Russia while they're at it.

The fact that the US president is a pro-active player in all this of course makes it worse, and even there the Neocons calculated that his narcissism made him vulnerable to the idea that he had to show 'toughness' and 'resolve', and that, like so many presidents before him, he had to have a war he could call his own to elevate his stature as a lesder, to firmly establish a legacy of greatness for himself.

Now of course, in 2016 in the US, whoever the presidential npmionees are from both major parties, (possibly the odious Clinton and maybe even Romneythe Robot again; regardless of who wins, both will support the Neocon agenda for hegemonic, monopolar world domination supremacy.

In the meantime, ISIS will blow up their own spot before too much longer and go off to spend all the loot they pillaged. They're slaughtering too many regular civilians and imposing their rigidly punitve interpretaions of religious law on the populations in the places they take over on pain of death for not obeying. They will not be able to last long or to hold the territory they've seized much longer.

Posted by: Stephen J | Jun 17 2014 13:44 utc | 16

Noone "wins" the presidency in the USA nor do you actually have real elections. The president is being _chosen_ by the electoral college as you should already know, the rest is just a cheap show for the hypnotized masses.

Posted by: T2015 | Jun 17 2014 13:51 utc | 17

Posted by: Mina | Jun 17, 2014 9:10:09 AM | 14

Sure, he is a kind of Mursi who survived because he had good Iranian advisers.

But the destruction of the Iraqi state and of the people who could have been the backbone of this state was done under US occupation and it was not Maliki's fault. The BRusselsTribunals list of known dates starts right with US invasion in 2003. So to blame Maliki now, is shameless

According to the Christian Science Monitor, by June 2006 already 2500 academics were killed, kidnapped or driven out of the country. Nobody knows how many have been murdered until today. We do know that thousands have been threatened - often by envelopes containing bullets - and fled. Alongside the academics also media professionals, doctors, engineers and spiritual leaders have been targets of intimidation, kidnapping and murder. It is important to know that, in the case of academics, it’s not about sectarian murders, because statistics show that there is no pattern in the murders. Professors in leading positions have especially been targeted, and not just Baathists.

These murders have never being investigated, the culprits never found let alone prosecuted. How come? Perhaps because both the occupiers and the new rulers in Iraq thought it was not important. Or maybe because death squads are part of their strategy, like formerly in El Salvador. That is what the book claims: the murder of academics was and is part of the "Salvador Option".

Conclusion of the authors? The goal was to liquidate the intellectual class, which would naturally be the basis for a new democratic state. It is that sinister. So sinister that it is difficult to believe. And yet it is true: the elimination of academics and other professionals from the middle class served the first and highest war aim: the destruction of the Iraqi state. "State-ending" instead of "nation building". According to the editors of the book this war objective was a decision taken when three parties aligned: the neoconservatives who wanted permanent bases in a geographical strategy of military domination; Israel that did not want a powerful state in its backyard; and the oil industry that wanted to lay its hand on one of the largest oil reserves in the world. This I have also written seven years ago. Now it’s there, in black and white, with many footnotes, well documented in a book published by an internationally renowned publishing house (Pluto Press). Perhaps the world will now finally start to realise the truth.

Worldwide protests from the academic community would be nice. But one minute of silence for their murdered colleagues will not suffice. Because, and that makes it so overwhelming, all this is just the tip of the iceberg: the children who are born severely deformed by the use of white phosphorus and depleted uranium, the lack of potable water, electricity and healthcare, the destruction of the educational system which results in a lost generation, the 1.2 million deaths and 5 million refugees - all these things combined make the war in Iraq the biggest war crime and the largest man-made humanitarian catastrophe in decades. And it continues. There is little or no hope of improvement, especially not after the recent elections. Add to this the countless bombings and the sectarian disintegration of the country and you have a picture of hell. And we, we all look more and more the other way. Because we are sick and tired of Iraq after seven years? It leaves a bitter taste in my mouth to see that I have been proven right with my thesis about the destruction of Iraq, that so many thought was absurd. Even Bush has been proven right with his famous show on the deck of the USS Lincoln that first May of 2003: "Mission accomplished". Indeed, Iraq is destroyed.

Happy birthday, Mr. President! Yes, tu quoque Obama.

Neither Iran nor Saudi wanted to have a powerful state in their backyard either.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2014 14:10 utc | 18

For sure they always go after the weaker. But if Maliki thought he could survive with 100 dead/month from suicide bombers on markets + not agreeing to progressive independence of Kurdistan, in which the US/UK/Netherlands are pouring billions, the guy was dumb in the first place.

Really good piece by Badhrakumar

Not exactly what we read in the MSM, for a change

Posted by: Mina | Jun 17 2014 14:20 utc | 19

"Pat Lang clearly believes that such "

he also believes (wishful) that there are divisions of IRGC in Iraq!!! which is completely false. and he knows better.. perhaps he is hoping for some sort of payback to IRGC as he believes Saddam's military won the war as Pat I think may have been in some sorta of military 'advisory' to saddam army at the time. and he does not like to be on the losing side. so his lenses are some what colored.

You can also recall the saud offered an invitation to Iran some weeks ago, that must have raised the suspicion flags in tehran. I think it is a safe bet, tehran had its contingency plans already in play.

Posted by: Rd. | Jun 17 2014 14:21 utc | 20

This guy had some thoughtful commentary on the situation.

Posted by: Guest | Jun 17 2014 14:47 utc | 21

I find Thierry Meyssan to be extremely astute (ymmv):

French intellectual, founder and chairman of Voltaire Network and the Axis for Peace Conference. His columns specializing in international relations feature in daily newspapers and weekly magazines in Arabic, Spanish and Russian. His last two books published in English : 9/11 the Big Lie and Pentagate.

Below are links to two articles I found to be "on the money" ~ again ymmv

Posted by: crone | Jun 17 2014 15:13 utc | 22

The success, as I read it from very far off and with little info, of now so-called “ISIS,” is due to:

a) getting many factions under one umbrella which can be done when attack-domination-surge is the topic, not so much when other matters or questions of directorate intervene, then it often goes south

b) some long-term planning (?) and the advantage of surprise (?)

c) lack of control/preparation by a weak or non-state, corruption within it, total lack of loyalty to it, on a terrain of endemic poverty, suffering, strife, lawlessness. Bandits act at ALL levels and anyone can be paid off! Including ‘army’ commanders, Gvmt. officials, or the like.

d) >>, a decimated, cowed population, ready to support or bow down or put up with whomever, even on the sides of the ‘violent rebels’ as finally being on their side (Sunnis), etc.

e) other .. fill it in.

The post ww2 borders are crumbling.

See Syria and Ukraine, many similarities.. or the past ex. of Yugoslavia, which was of course merely broken up but did not join others, as under the control of the UN and EU (US behind the scenes) but without any real per the PTB decision.

Of course many are very keen on ethnically/religiously/gang organized territories for purposes of manipulation and control. Puppet Gvmts. with oligarchs or Lords in charge - see long-lasting KSA royalty for ex. Iraq will be partioned in the end imho.

Posted by: Noirette | Jun 17 2014 15:23 utc | 23

Posted by: Mina | Jun 17, 2014 10:20:04 AM | 19

Like Yanukovich, Maliki presumably did not have an "and" option.
He only had an "either/or" option.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2014 15:30 utc | 24

somebody @5, even a blind squirrel will occasionally find an acorn. Cole found several in that piece in readersupportednews and Landis found a few in the piece I linked.

OT, but Landis came under direct attack by the OU Board of Regents, demanding he be fired, the attacks were extended by the OKC right wing newspaper, The Daily Oklahoman - went on for months. Suddenly it just stopped. I'm 90% certain that the US intelligence agency/s he is an asset of sent down the word to newspaper and the board to STFU.
Landis has a Syrian Sunni wife, and I think Cole has a Sunni wife as well, but I may have him mixed up with someone else.
It's also interests me that b's link to that old Landis piece contradicts where Landis stands today.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 17 2014 16:21 utc | 25

Baghdad will not fall. Baghdad city is believed to have a populaton of 9 Million (since no census has been taken since the 1980's its hard to have an accurate figure). But compare that with cities like Berlin (3.5 Million), Chicago (2.7 Million), Paris (2.2 Million) and also remember it is a majority Shia city unlike Mosul and the chances become insignificant. The slums of Sadr City alone hold 1 Million residents and ISIS could send there entire force in Syria and Iraq to take that district and they would lose.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Jun 17 2014 16:25 utc | 26

Agree with Colm. Mosul was only taken because it was Sunni and supportive of ISIS.

The US was unable to truly pacify Sadr City slums, why would ISIS have an easier time when theyre less prepared and trained?

Posted by: Massinissa | Jun 17 2014 16:35 utc | 27

@ 25, 26

Agree totally... ISIS is a propaganda tool... it is not Sunni - it is a mixture of psychopaths put together by Saudi, Israel, Britain, USA - wabbalist definitely there. This notion of a struggle between Sunni and Shia is disinformation, ymmv... not to say their is not conflict, but certainly not what the Zionazis would have everyone believe.

Posted by: crone | Jun 17 2014 16:58 utc | 28

Fucking apartheid and genocidal Israelis and their Zionist minions just can't play it cool until "events" are over. Pikers.

Gotta get a good seat to "witness/document" the false flag events of 9/11.

Gotta be the first two tell the world that WTC7 collapsed...20 minutes before it did. Oops.

Oh yeah, and which country "confirmed" that Assad was behind the gas attacks last year? If you said the apartheid genocidal state of Israel you are a WINNER!!!

But don't worry, by the end of this week the IDF will have arrested/detained the ENTIRE West Bank so that it can find its missing settler boys.

Yup, between the US and Israel - both of which OBVIOUSLY have NOTHING whatsoever to do with the rise of ISIS - interested citizens will be sure to get an earful of shit.

BTW, don't know if you all caught the piece in the Guardian on Sunday which detailed just how rolling in dough ISIS is:

"By the end of the week, we soon realised that we had to do some accounting for them," said the official flippantly. "Before Mosul, their total cash and assets were $875m [£515m]. Afterwards, with the money they robbed from banks and the value of the military supplies they looted, they could add another $1.5bn to that."

But my favorite line in the entire piece was this one a little later:

"They had taken $36m from al-Nabuk alone [an area in the Qalamoun mountains west of Damascus]. The antiquities there are up to 8,000 years old," the intelligence official said. "Before this, the western officials had been asking us where they had gotten some of their money from, $50,000 here, or $20,000 there. It was peanuts. Now they know and we know. They had done this all themselves. There was no state actor at all behind them, which we had long known. They don't need one."

That's it, folks!!!The reasons for the success of ISIS can be summed up as follows:

1) great accounting and meticulous spreadsheets. Wait til you see the ISIS macro, motherfuckers!!
2) expertise in antiquities and extensive dealings with the black market. Hmmm, shouldn't someone look at who's on the PURCHASING end of these archeological "steals"? Nah.
3) bank robbing. Why, it's like Bonnie bin Laden and Clyde abu Bakr!!! YEEHAW!!!!

Yup, no help from anyone, just a bunch of crazy fucking jihadist accountants running wild in the desert looking to rob some banks and loot some digs all the while the US/Israel just sit around dumbfounded while ISIS just happens to being doing a bunch of dirty work for them.

Sounds about right.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Jun 17 2014 17:01 utc | 29

So b is starting to see the light of day, that US with its puppets through proxy are attacking Iraq's pro-Iran (and Syria) government. Also as I said at the very start of "uprising", unless Maliki makes heavy concessions to US, terrorist will get all the support they need to terrorize Iraq, as they do in Syria. Plus we'll see another wave of Balkanization.

Posted by: Harry | Jun 17 2014 17:05 utc | 30

"17th June: Nechirvan Barzani, the premier of the Kurdish enclave, has stated that there is no going back to the status quo that existed. His comments appear to support the partition of Iraq on ethnic lines. He has also suggested that Iraqi Sunnis be asked if they desire an independent state." from Saker

so partitioning has begun, Maliki didnt get "the hint", hence country will be divided into smaller, more manageable by West statelets. I bet US will try to carve Kurdistan from Iraq and Syria, while keeping Turkish borders intact. That is, as long as Turkey follows orders like a good doggy it is.

Posted by: Harry | Jun 17 2014 17:22 utc | 31

Reading the stories about the ongoing Israeli crackdown in Hebron, one wonders how long before ISIS is sent to the West Bank. It so much easier for them to do the dirty work.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jun 17 2014 17:24 utc | 32

Posted by: Harry | Jun 17, 2014 1:22:07 PM | 30

Yep. Kurdistan is out. BBC Barzani interview.

You can add Iranian Kurdistan to your list.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2014 17:39 utc | 33

"According to the editors of the book this war objective was a decision taken when three parties aligned: the neoconservatives who wanted permanent bases in a geographical strategy of military domination; Israel that did not want a powerful state in its backyard; and the oil industry that wanted to lay its hand on one of the largest oil reserves in the world. This I have also written seven years ago. Now it’s there, in black and white, with many footnotes, well documented in a book published by an internationally renowned publishing house (Pluto Press)"

Can you please publish here the title and the authors of this said book? You only say that the Pluto Press put it out, but never mentioned its title and its authors! Unless I overlooked it; but I do not think so.

Thank you in advance

Posted by: susette | Jun 17 2014 17:44 utc | 34

Turkey fears retaliation from the Shiites. Why? They feel guilty of something we would not have heard of in the MSM? Maybe Hashemi's role?

Posted by: Mina | Jun 17 2014 17:55 utc | 35

Posted by: susette | Jun 17, 2014 1:44:12 PM | 33

Cultural Cleansing in Iraq
Why Museums Were Looted, Libraries Burned and Academics Murdered

Edited by: Raymond W. Baker, Shereen T. Ismael, Tareq Y. Ismael
ISBN: 9780745328126
Extent: 312pp
Release Date: 06 Nov 2009

Pluto Press Link

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2014 17:56 utc | 36

add to #35

Raymond W. Baker is this very established academic

Raymond William Baker is an internationally recognized authority on the Arab and Islamic world. The author of a series of critically acclaimed studies of Islam and Arab societies, he was designated this year as a Carnegies Scholar in Islamic Studies for 2006 – 2008. Baker’s most recent book is Islam Without Fear, published this year by Harvard Press in a paperback version.

Baker consults periodically for the State Department, the Department of Defense, USAID, the Pentagon, and a variety of other government agencies and private foundations. A past president of the International Association of Middle East Studies, Baker is currently a governing board member of the European-based World Congress of Middle East Studies. He is also President of Global Partners of the International University of Iraq, a Governing Board member of the International Center for Contemporary Middle Eastern Studies, Northern Cyprus, and a founding member of the International Association of Contemporary Iraqi Studies.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2014 18:01 utc | 37

sorry, link to 36 Trinity College - Raymond W. Baker

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2014 18:05 utc | 38


But that's WHY the apartheid genocidal Israelis are violating every last bit of the Geneva Convention in their hunt for their settler's because ISIS MIGHT be operating in the West Bank already!!!

I mean, as everyone knows, normally the apartheid genocidal state of Israel is such a stickler for hewing to international law in any of its dealings with the Occupied Territories. It's just that ISIS is so damned scary and diabolically actuarial that Israel just had to side-step the law in this singular case.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Jun 17 2014 18:12 utc | 39


I read that yesterday -- that ISIS is supposedly kidnapped the three Israeli teens. But I dismissed it as disinfo. I didn't connect that it is being used as a pretext for the West Bank roundup since I thought Netanyahu is explicitly blaming Hamas.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jun 17 2014 18:36 utc | 40

Uprising of Sunni population in Anbar province …

NY Times – Sectarian violence returning to Baghdad with extrajudicial killings and kidnappings

"The fighting is creeping closer to Baghdad and the offensive is being led by Sunni fighters drawn from the Sunni militant groups the 1920 Revolution Brigades and the Islamic Army, according to an Iraqi Intelligence source. Both of those groups have long had a presence in Diyala Province and were involved in some of the bloodiest fighting during the sectarian battles of 2005-2007. The 1920 brigades was formed from disaffected Iraqi Army officers who were left without jobs after the Americans dissolved the military in 2003."

Posted by: Oui | Jun 17 2014 18:37 utc | 41

1920 Revolution Brigades (Kata’ib Thawrat al-Ishreen)

The 1920 Revolution Brigades (Kata’ib Thawrat al-Ishreen) is a Sunni Islamic extremist group in the Iraqi insurgency that has claimed responsibility for several attacks on U.S. forces as well as some high profile incidents including the 'kidnapping' of U.S. marine Wassef Ali Hassoun in June 2004 and the bombing of the al-Arabiya TV headquarters in Baghdad in October 2006.

The group first appeared in June 2003 as a “nationalist Jihadist movement” dedicated to the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq in order to build an Islamic state. The 1920 Revolution Brigades is the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement in Iraq, formerly called the Iraqi National Islamic Resistance. The group is named after the 1920 Iraqi uprising against British colonial occupation following World War I, when the League of Nations granted the United Kingdom control over three Ottoman territories – Baghdad, Mosul, and Basra – that make up present day Iraq. Arabic script in the group’s logo contains a verse from the Quran popular among Jihadists, “Fight them, God shall torture them by your hands,” below which reads, “Islamic Resistance Movement, Twentieth Revolution Brigades.”

Posted by: Oui | Jun 17 2014 18:44 utc | 42

I don't agree. For a long time I believed Assad would win. But since I know that ISIS is controling the syrian & kurdish oilfields, I think Assad's days are numbered.

Similar story for Iraq. ISIS will consolidate control over the kurdish oilfields and that will make the struggle between Maliki and ISIS a protracted one. As long as Maliki and his "friends" have financial control over the oilfields in Southern Iraq I think Maliki can cling to power. I see however the possibility that someone (Muqtada Al Sadrf ??) topples the Maliki government and takes control.

No, I think Maliki's days are numbered as well. But how long will Maliki last in the current position ?

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 17 2014 18:45 utc | 43

Islamic Resistance Movement: Hamas of Iraq (Arabic حماس العراق) is a Sunni militia group based in Iraq, which broke off from the 1920 Revolution Brigade on March 18, 2007.

See also Stanford U. mapping militant organizations – here.

Posted by: Oui | Jun 17 2014 18:59 utc | 44

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 17, 2014 2:45:05 PM | 42

I am pretty sure Kurds are controlling Kurdish oil fields. There is a lot of disinformation going on just now.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2014 18:59 utc | 45

Yes, the kurds may still be in control of the oilfields. But I think ISIS will surely attempt to seize control of them. That would be a complete game changer. For the time being, ISIS has the initiative and that's also an advantage.

I consider ISIS to be better prepared for battle than the kurds & Maliki's army. And that doesn't bode well.

I also think Washington DC was completely taken by surprise ISIS made a push into Mosul. I think the State Department could be in complete panic.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 17 2014 19:16 utc | 46

This guy sounds like JSorrentine:
June 17, 2014
The Brutal Logic of a Self-Seeking Empire
Is Open-Ended Chaos the Desired US-Israeli Aim in the Middle East?
"...To those—and I suspect there are still many out there—for whom all this seems too neat or too conspiratorial, I would suggest a careful side-by side reading of:

a) the “Clean Break” manifesto generated by the Jerusalem-based Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS) in 1996


b) the “Rebuilding America’s Defenses” paper generated by The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) in 2000, a US group with deep personal and institutional links to the aforementioned Israeli think tank, and with the ascension of George Bush Junior to the White House, to the most exclusive sanctums of the US foreign policy apparatus.
To read the cold-blooded imperial reasoning in both of these documents—which speak, in the first case, quite openly of the need to destabilize the region so as to reshape Israel’s “strategic environment” and, in the second of the need to dramatically increase the number of US “forward bases” in the region—as I did twelve years ago, and to recognize its unmistakable relationship to the underlying aims of the wars then being started by the US in Afghanistan and Iraq, was a deeply disturbing experience.
To do so now, after the US’s systematic destruction of Iraq and Libya—two notably oil-rich countries whose delicate ethnic and religious balances were well known to anyone in or out of government with more than passing interest in history—, and after the its carefully calibrated efforts to generate and maintain murderous and civilization-destroying stalemates in Syria and Egypt (something that is easily substantiated despite our media’s deafening silence on the subject), is downright blood-curdling.

And yet, it seems that for even very well-informed analysts, it is beyond the pale to raise the possibility that foreign policy elites in the US and Israel, like all virtually all the ambitious hegemons before them on the world stage, might have quite coldly and consciously fomented open-ended chaos in order to achieve their overlapping strategic objectives in this part of the world.

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 17 2014 19:17 utc | 47

I am pretty sure Kurds are controlling Kurdish oil fields. There is a lot of disinformation going on just now.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17, 2014 2:59:49 PM | 44


Posted by: OMFG | Jun 17 2014 19:28 utc | 48

This guy sounds like JSorrentine: . . . .

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 17, 2014 3:17:33 PM | 46

when even "Counterpunch" gets it, it's fair to say one would have to be blind deaf & dumb (and pretty goddammed stupid and-or dishonest) to make any claims to the contrary

Posted by: OMFG | Jun 17 2014 19:31 utc | 49

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 17, 2014 3:16:04 PM | 45

The highest number of ISIS fighters named is 10 000. No one knows what is going on, who is doing what, and who in the insurgency will come out on top.
ISIS are a pain on the locals so they will end up getting attacked by everyone.
A lot of people are doing this who are not ISIS, and even ISIS cannot be sure their members are ISIS. The insurgency will turn on each other.
There seems to be a plan to "take" Baghdad by seizing elementary infrastructure, water, electricity, cutting off supplies, etc. basically a siege.
If the plan is to create floods of refugees and make the country ungovernable, 10.000 people are enough.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 17 2014 19:40 utc | 50

Wonderful article farmer, thank you so very much

Posted by: Massinissa | Jun 17 2014 19:42 utc | 51

A lot of people are doing this who are not ISIS, and even ISIS cannot be sure their members are ISIS. The insurgency will turn on each other.

It's not an "insurgency" though, is it?

It's clearly, for the most part, a Proxy army of the US-Empire.

So no one can be sure of anything according to you? But yo always sound so sure of yorself when you make these statements

One thing we can be sure of is that ISIS/L are a proxy for the Empire - the financing, arming training etc provide proof enough of that.

Posted by: OMFG | Jun 17 2014 19:49 utc | 52

Seeing that the old Baathist guard can do a lot in Iraq, former Yemeni president starts to dream of a comeback
Maybe we'll see Ben Ali and Mubarak back to their presidential palaces by the end of the year?

Posted by: Mina | Jun 17 2014 19:53 utc | 53


Absolutely right. The Guardian, the Fucking Guardian reports from Bagdad yet, that ISIS stumbled across 2B$ in Iraq, and helpfully lards the narrative with a bunch of bullshit about lists and graded jihadists and memory sticks. Totally degenerate bullshit.

Not the Saudis. Not the US. Not Israel. Of course, of course. And get this, Obama is sending 275 marines.

Convincing or what?

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Jun 17 2014 20:01 utc | 54

Oui, I think I remember you from another 'political-oriented' blog where we used to have pretty good, informative discussions. Less 'dogwhistle' there back then, more substance. It was BoomanTribune. I was 'sbj' there for a span of years.

I believe I recognize your no nonsense, detailed, informative style in your comments above.

Posted by: Stephen J | Jun 17 2014 20:16 utc | 55

The show must go on:

The Jordanian regime (I know how much you adore it in the West for its services to Israeli occupation) has just released the ideologue of Jihadi groups, Abu Muhammad Al-Maqdisi.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 17 2014 20:20 utc | 56


It's not just me. Here's b himself - again from 2006 - talking about exactly the same things.

So this official strategy change may hold back plans for a new war on Iran.

As Col. Lang emphasizes, the seeds for partioning were laid when Cheney and the neocon figures around him ordered the Iraqi army to be disbanded and the de-Baathification of the Iraqi government, i.e. its total annulment. The idea of partitioning Iraq may even have been the very reason for the war.

The New Middle East expression goes back to the "Clean Break" document (pdf) prepared 1996 by U.S. neocons as a strategy for Israel's Netanyahu government. The first modern partition Iraq argument was made by Zionist strategist Oded Yinon in 1982. In A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties he recommends:

In Iraq, a division into provinces along ethnic/religious lines as in Syria during Ottoman times is possible. So, three (or more) states will exist around the three major cities: Basra, Baghdad and Mosul, and Shi'ite areas in the south will separate from the Sunni and Kurdish north.

The now imminent, new policy of partitioning Iraq is indeed only the announcement of the result of a process that has been the plan and the policy all along.

This is a real "Mission Accomplished" moment.

If the policy is effective, which will be decided on streets of Iraq, this is a huge success for a clique of neocon U.S. supporters of Israels colonial strategy to divide and conquer.

Harrington CONSPICUOUSLY does NOT include a link to - or even mention - the Yinon Plan - which predates the other strategies by at LEAST 10+ years so while his talking about the US Zionists and the apartheid genocidal state of Israel is helpful it doesn't quite go all the way and allow the reader an even wider context from which to view the events in the ME of the last 30+ YEARS not just the last 10+.

What, people think that the fucking Israelis and their US Zionist partners/traitors set about - over decades - to commandeer the US government just so that they could get some fucking tax breaks?

Posted by: JSorrentine | Jun 17 2014 20:26 utc | 57

Porfessor Juan Cole has some very sound views on the situation in Iraq:

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 17 2014 20:27 utc | 58

Professor Juan Cole Always has a GOOD view on what's going in the Middle East. check it out:

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 17 2014 20:30 utc | 59

So if I follow correctly, the US caught this guy just to release him somewhere in Syria or Iraq, right?

US seizes Benghazi raid 'ringleader' Ahmed Abu Khattala

Posted by: Mina | Jun 17 2014 20:30 utc | 60

Fuck Juan Cole, he deserves a knife ass-raping like he wished for and got with his support for the overthrow of Qaddafy. He's a fucking former consultant to the CIA and a cheerleader for war criminals. Here's his take - from his blog - on Libya:

As I expected, now that Qaddafi’s advantage in armor and heavy weapons is being neutralized by the UN allies’ air campaign, the liberation movement is regaining lost territory. Liberators took back Ajdabiya and Brega (Marsa al-Burayqa), key oil towns, on Saturday into Sunday morning, and seemed set to head further West. This rapid advance is almost certainly made possible in part by the hatred of Qaddafi among the majority of the people of these cities. The Buraiqa Basin contains much of Libya’s oil wealth, and the Transitional Government in Benghazi will soon again control 80 percent of this resource, an advantage in their struggle with Qaddafi.

I am unabashedly cheering the liberation movement on, and glad that the UNSC-authorized intervention has saved them from being crushed.

I would like to urge the Left to learn to chew gum and walk at the same time. It is possible to reason our way through, on a case-by-case basis, to an ethical progressive position that supports the ordinary folk in their travails in places like Libya. If we just don’t care if the people of Benghazi are subjected to murder and repression on a vast scale, we aren’t people of the Left. We should avoid making ‘foreign intervention’ an absolute taboo the way the Right makes abortion an absolute taboo if doing so makes us heartless (inflexible a priori positions often lead to heartlessness). It is now easy to forget that Winston Churchill held absolutely odious positions from a Left point of view and was an insufferable colonialist who opposed letting India go in 1947. His writings are full of racial stereotypes that are deeply offensive when read today. Some of his interventions were nevertheless noble and were almost universally supported by the Left of his day. The UN allies now rolling back Qaddafi are doing a good thing, whatever you think of some of their individual leaders.

Here's fucking Cole on Iraq from his own blog in 2003:

*My mind and heart are, like those of so many Americans, focused on the Gulf and Iraq tonight. I am thinking about all those brave young men and women in the US and British armed forces whose lives are on the line, and send them my warm support. And I am thinking about all the innocent Iraqis in the line of fire, who fear what awaits them. I remain convinced that, for all the concerns one might have about the aftermath, the removal of Saddam Hussein and the murderous Baath regime from power will be worth the sacrifices that are about to be made on all sides. The rest of us have a responsibility to work to see that the lives lost are redeemed by the building of a genuinely democratic and independent Iraq in the coming years.

Professor Fucking Cole could tell me the sky is blue and all I'd have to say to him: you deserve a knife ass-raping like the one you cheered on, you war criminal cheerleader. Fuck off.

When people such as Cole cheer on and promulgate support for blatant mass-murder and war crimes they should no longer be listened to only ridiculed and condemned for the rest of their fucking existence on this planet.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Jun 17 2014 20:49 utc | 61

Harrington CONSPICUOUSLY does NOT include a link to - or even mention - the Yinon Plan - which predates the other strategies by at LEAST 10+ years so while his talking about the US Zionists and the apartheid genocidal state of Israel is helpful it doesn't quite go all the way and allow the reader an even wider context from which to view the events in the ME of the last 30+ YEARS not just the last 10+.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Jun 17, 2014 4:26:26 PM | 56

So the Counterpunch contingent probably still consider it "The Yinon Ineptitude" then? Can't quite bring themselves to upgrade it from "The Ineptitude" to "The Plan" yet, I guess

And as for "Professor" Cole . . . I got as far as when he sets up his straw-man, and realised that Cole's article was probably just his usual pretence at being something other than a willing CIA mouthpiece, so's he can later big-up his "Liberal progressive and not at all a F'in CIA plant" credentials which, pathetic though it is, seem more than enough to gull his idiotic fans into continuing to read the feces he tries to pass off as knowledgeable commentary.

After that first straw-man, which occurred in the 3rd or 4th sentence, I wondered "Who but a complete masochist would continue beyond this point?", and gave up entirely

Posted by: OMFG | Jun 17 2014 20:58 utc | 62

jsore - i have enjoyed your posts today. many others here have left informative links. thanks for that. i also see isis as a proxy for us/sa/and israel. it is the new repackaged al qaeda, or a variant on the same theme..

Posted by: james | Jun 17 2014 21:01 utc | 63

Here's Juank's first straw-man

Already in the past week and a half, many assertions are becoming commonplace in the inside-the-Beltway echo chamber about Iraq’s current crisis that are poorly grounded in knowledge of the country. Here are some sudden truisms that should be rethought.

1. “The Sunni radicals of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are popular.” They are not.

I read it so YOU, don't have to . . . .

Posted by: OMFG | Jun 17 2014 21:03 utc | 64

Mina@19, Badhrakumar did a very good analysis, but my favorite was two 'throwaway paragraphs' here:

Quite obviously, the coup in Mosul has powerful foreign backers, too, and it so happens that they could be countries that financed, aided and abetted the Syrian conflict as well.

It will be the mother of all ironies if Obama invites these very same regional states to join the "challenging international effort" to stabilize Iraq and to try to rebuild that country."

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 17 2014 21:12 utc | 65

Cole may have worked for the CIA but I DO hold his views in high regard.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 17 2014 21:21 utc | 66

Cole was an prominent apologist/proselytizer for the mass-murder/rape/pillaging/displacement of millions of innocent people and sundry other war crimes.

His working for the CIA is only a SECOND reason to think he's a worthless piece of shit.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Jun 17 2014 21:25 utc | 67

@Stephen J - #54

Indeed, I do remember. I also used the handle creve coeur on other blogs.

Posted by: Oui | Jun 17 2014 21:28 utc | 68

Cole is a cocky liberal interventionist, totally ignore him.

Posted by: Anonymous | Jun 17 2014 21:40 utc | 69

Juan Cole is a great gatekeeper. In such a role, his job is to seem reasonable when compared to drooling neocons...not a high hurdle. But look closely and you will see he is advocating the same things while seeming not to. He advocated the invasion Iraq in 2002-3 and then spent years acting as if he didn't. He favored the bombing of Libya, went about attacking the 2009 Iran elections, etc. etc. To make himself appear different from the ultra-Zionists and the typical advocate of US empire, he has to say something rational from time to time and he does. Alas, that makes him MORE dangerous not less, as it distracts many people who might otherwise be opponents of wars and invasions. Judging by some of his defenders, he has been successful.

Posted by: Lysander | Jun 17 2014 21:41 utc | 70

Cole may have worked for the CIA but I DO hold his views in high regard.

Posted by: Willy2 | Jun 17, 2014 5:21:42 PM | 65

Not sure about the wisdom of publicly admitting to being prone to such foolhardiness.

Despair not, for they probably by now have some sort of "12 Step"-based support-group for others similarly afflicted , . . . "Hi, my name is Wily2, and I'm a JuanC Addict"

Posted by: OMFG | Jun 17 2014 21:45 utc | 71

@69 and others re Cole

A-A-A-men, A-A-men, etc

Posted by: crone | Jun 17 2014 21:45 utc | 72

oui, I read you at eurotrib but never comment as the others are self-righteous pricks

Posted by: Michele | Jun 17 2014 21:49 utc | 73

Yup, no matter how much needless/criminal murder and destruction one commits/advocates for, one aspect of the American Spectacle is that since there is nothing even resembling justice/rule of law in the US/West anymore all one has to do to absolve themselves of crimes committed/cheered for a la Cole and others is just pipe about something they know about and everyone is just supposed to forget what they did.

Isn't that special?

As if NOTHING EVER fucking happened! Notice all the old neocon war criminals being trotted out on the talk shows nowadays to weigh in on Iraq and how much it's Obama's fault and ZZZZZZZ blah blah blah

No one ever stops to think or say: WHY are fucking war criminals responsible for so many atrocities still on our televisions? WHY are we having conversations with these fucking monsters? Why are they no AT LEAST rotting in a fucking prison?

Is there a crime LARGE enough committed by our leaders that we as a society DON'T politely sit down and listen to what fucking criminal monsters have to say about this or that or ANYTHING?

Is there ANYTHING in the Society of Spectacle that could bring the opprobrium of humanity down on the heads of the very murderers and their ilk who commit the crimes that destroy and ruin so many people's lives?

The answer is seemingly no. ZERO ZILCH NADA

Nope, since there is no longer any rule of law or justice we as a society are seemingly condemned to sit and watch as others chitchat with fucking celebrity war criminals about the topics du jour while other mindless peons actually place value in what comes out of their mouths.

Holy fuck.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Jun 17 2014 22:06 utc | 74

Everybody knows Isis is a Zionist creation _ it will be cut out and stamped on until it stops wriggling_ then we can all concentrate on the implanters - they know this - and also know we will succeed - but their real goal is the spilling of our blood upon the earth during the process - I think its supposed to be some sort of magic ritual ! Harry potter death eaters anyone?

Posted by: bridger | Jun 17 2014 22:29 utc | 75

Is there ANYTHING in the Society of Spectacle that could bring the opprobrium of humanity down on the heads of the very murderers and their ilk who commit the crimes that destroy and ruin so many people's lives?

Take sports and prescription medication away and collapse the values of all stock indices to 10% of their value with no chance of recovery. There's a small chance that might do it, but only a small chance. Otherwise, you'll just have to live, or die, with it — and them.

Also, when you say "holy fuck" are you referring to the pope, or are you referring to copulation in the presence of a priest, reverend or some sort of holy man?

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jun 17 2014 22:58 utc | 76

An eventual victory of the joint forces of Syria, Iraq and Hezbollah over the Al Qaeeda terrorists will re-establish in the free world the legitimacy of Bashar Al Assad, Al Maliki and Nasrallah.
It will give a blow to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Turkey and all the hidden supporters of these terrorists. It will be another humiliation and source of distress for the Sunnis in the region, especially the Iraqis who now realize that as they have only weak and corrupted Sunni leaders, they had to rely on terrorists leaders to regain an illusion of power.

ISIL is the most extreme Islamist force fighting in Syria. The group has fought other rebels for influence. It is now stronger than it was earlier this month because of the weapons, ammunition and money it reportedly seized in Iraq.

That’s not to say ISIL will go unchallenged, said Yezid Sayigh, a senior associate at the Middle East Center of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Beirut.

Iraq may escalate and eventually control the border with Syria better, Iran may send reinforcements to Assad and the sheer size of the areas ISIL controls in Syria and Iraq may prove too much for the group to handle, Sayigh said.

“Right now they’re on a roll, using the psychological advantage, the momentum, the breakdown of the Iraqi army, the fear that the name ISIL produces in people,” said Sayigh. “But within days or a few weeks, it’s not going to be like that.”

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 18 2014 0:07 utc | 77 has been down all day. Ukrainians must have been using it to find out what's really happening in their country.

Posted by: Demian | Jun 18 2014 0:24 utc | 78

When Saddam attacked Iran, he was acting as a "proxy" for the Empire.
When he attacked Kuwait...not so much.

Cole's approval of the Iraq War at the moment of truth, after he had opposed going in for months
was infuriating.
But I wonder at people who don't understand that one can read Cole, garnering for example good information about Israel's oppression of Palestinians, harder to get elsewhere-- yet tune him out when he pushes liberal internationalism/interventionism.

Cole's wife is Bahai so he'll be prone to support the taking down of the Mullahs.
I wish Landis, whose wife is Alawi, had shown the same type of loyalty to Syria.

Then there is the matter that purposely sowing chaos doesn't equate with masterful success and/or lack of blowback.

But perhaps someone can demonstrate beliving in masterfully successful, cohesive conspiracy
will motivate more people to promote right-left anti-imperial movements than attempting
to inject the unbeatable enemy impression at every turn.

Posted by: truthbetold | Jun 18 2014 0:42 utc | 79

When Saddam attacked Iran, he was acting as a "proxy" for the Empire.
When he attacked Kuwait...not so much.

This is pure bullshit thinking

It's fairly common knowledge, or at least it should be for anyone that thinks they know enough to comment, that Saddam was under the impression that his actions were ok'd by Rome, so Saddam could have easily convinced himself that he any action he was taking had the "Empire seal-of-Approval" when he attacked Kuwait.

That certainly IS the impression the Empire's Representative April Glaspy is allegd to have given him when she met him just prior to the attack

so your "not so much" is pure bullshit

Posted by: OMFG | Jun 18 2014 0:53 utc | 80


    One version of the transcript has Glaspie saying: “ We can see that you have deployed massive numbers of troops in the south. Normally that would be none of our business, but when this happens in the context of your threats against Kuwait, then it would be reasonable for us to be concerned. For this reason, I have received an instruction to ask you, in the spirit of friendship — not confrontation — regarding your intentions: Why are your troops massed so very close to Kuwait's borders? ”

    Later the transcript has Glaspie saying:
    “ We have no opinion on your Arab-Arab conflicts, such as your dispute with Kuwait. Secretary Baker has directed me to emphasize the instruction, first given to Iraq in the 1960s, that the Kuwait issue is not associated with America. ”

    Another version of the transcript (the one published in The New York Times on 23 September 1990) has Glaspie saying:
    “ But we have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait. I was in the American Embassy in Kuwait during the late 1960s. The instruction we had during this period was that we should express no opinion on this issue and that the issue is not associated with America. James Baker has directed our official spokesmen to emphasize this instruction. We hope you can solve this problem using any suitable methods via Klibi (Chedli Klibi, Secretary General of the Arab League) or via President Mubarak. All that we hope is that these issues are solved quickly.

Posted by: OMFG | Jun 18 2014 0:56 utc | 81

Glaspie was criticized by her bosses on the issue.

Posted by: truthbetold | Jun 18 2014 0:58 utc | 82

I marvel that some people will continue to believe any ridiculous old shit so as to not see a what even a blind fool could see

Posted by: OMFG | Jun 18 2014 1:03 utc | 83

Glaspie was criticized by her bosses on the issue.

Posted by: truthbetold | Jun 17, 2014 8:58:36 PM | 81

this comment suggests quite strongly that you KNEW you were talking utter shit when you made the earlier statement regarding Saddam and Proxy armies. That says quite a lot about YOU, all by itself ;-)

And you are still talking shit right now because Glaspie's alleged after-the-fact criticism from her bosses doesn't change anything regarding anything I already stated about Saddam's actions or the reasons for them

Posted by: OMFG | Jun 18 2014 1:09 utc | 84


Joshua Landis had made a number of predictions about Syria that never happened. He has been and still is very confused about what is going on in Syria and what he would like to see happening there.
He has clearly taken the side of the opposition, just like his so called 'contributor-moderator' Matthew Barber on SyriaComment who has banned all contributors that were against the opposition. Now that the wind is turning in favor of the 'regime' they are both scrambling to find some sort of life to the corpse of the opposition they supported.

It took more than 10 years for the US and the EU to eliminate the Talibans and Al Qaeeda in Afghanistan and they failed. If the Syrian army and the Iraqi army are able to eliminate al Qaeda in the region as many analysts are predicting, this will make al Maliki, Bashar al Assad and Nasrallah international heroes.

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 18 2014 1:27 utc | 85

@Rd. no. 20

Lang was also a full-blown advocate of the Libyan intervention, a fact no one on his blog dares mention.

Posted by: sleepy | Jun 18 2014 1:34 utc | 86

This is it, folks:

Posted by: aktiv | Jun 18 2014 1:40 utc | 87

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 17, 2014 9:27:52 PM | 84

Landis (jewish name) and his alawi wife will love ISIS

Posted by: brian | Jun 18 2014 2:10 utc | 88

from ZeroHedge (not a joke, tho' at first glance, one might think so)

ISIS Stunner: Terrorist Organization's Annual Reports Unveiled; Reveal Full "Investment Highlights"

In a day and age in which corporations rule the world, the brutal Al-Qaeda spin off known as ISIS is learning from the best, and as part of its credentialising and image-building has done something only major corporations do at the end of every year: it has issued annual reports for the past 2 years (unaudited, unless Ernst & Young has quietly upgraded from "massaging" the books for Lehman's Repo 105 and, of course, the New York Fed, without our knowledge).

That's right: as the FT reported earlier, "Since 2012 the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, (known as Isis) has issued annual reports, outlining in numerical and geographical detail its operations – the number of bombings, assassinations, checkpoints, suicide missions, cities taken over and even “apostates” converted to the Isis cause."

But while publicly traded corporations focus more on revenues, margins, and profits, ISIS has other key considerations:


Posted by: Crone | Jun 18 2014 4:32 utc | 89

Posted by: okie farmer | Jun 17, 2014 5:12:31 PM | 64

That is obviously the plan.

Posted by: OMFG | Jun 17, 2014 3:31:24 PM | 48

No, chaos is a strategy when you cannot win but wish to prevent your opponent from taking over. Anybody can use it and anyone is using it.

So to prevent Iran from taking over Iraq, it gets pulverised again. If Syria can engineer a Baathist/Iranian reconciliation, Iraq might survive.

Syria hosted Maliki and Iraqi Baathists after all.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 18 2014 4:35 utc | 90

add to 89

It is what those stay behind anti communist fascist and fundamentalists gladio groups were for and still are for.

Posted by: somebody | Jun 18 2014 4:39 utc | 91

Syria was just the rehearsal for some of the groups involved...
Rebels who captured Mosul last week have not harmed Christian residents or churches in what is Iraq’s second-largest city, the Vatican’s top envoy in Iraq told Rudaw, adding that everyone waited with fear to see what would happen next.

“The guerrillas who are in control of Mosul have not committed any violent act or damaged the churches there,” said Archbishop Giorgio Lingua, the Apostolic Nuncio (Pope’s envoy) in Iraq.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 18 2014 6:49 utc | 92

If you think about it, this "annual reports" could only germ in the 'mind' of a Gulf person.
They are paying the money and for sure, to get to this kind of economical obsession, you need to have been brainwashed into US ultraliberalism from the core, and this happened only in the Gulf.
of course, it helps the Western 'intelligence' that they provide these reports without us having to find people who understand the language and could analyse the random documents. A win-win.

Posted by: Mina | Jun 18 2014 7:03 utc | 93

Holy fwck... I laughed my arse off this morning after reading about the magic ISIS excel-macro of death that made them those billions (yeah right) and just hours later this hilarious stuff with annual reports comes out. I'm feeling like in the middle of some bizarre comedy show, like somethig straight out of Monty Python's Flying Circus. I rarely get insulted, but now I am - by having media whores who think that most of us are really THIS stupid.

Posted by: T2015 | Jun 18 2014 7:52 utc | 94

And by having your government empty your pockets and ruin the future of your kids (no education, no proper health services...) ?
Listen to "His Excellency":
"The Iraqi Army is not a plausible partner. Providing more weapons to a disintegrating army that turned over U.S. military equipment worth hundreds of millions of dollars to radical Islamist terrorists does not make sense."

Posted by: Mina | Jun 18 2014 8:53 utc | 95


Would you ever kindly f*ck off with your over-generalised non-sequitur bullsh*t "replies", which as usual, are not really repling to anything I or anyone else said,

You're a tiresome useless lying no-account f*ck, at the best of times, and this ain't the best of times

Posted by: OMFG | Jun 18 2014 9:00 utc | 96

No, chaos is a strategy when you cannot win but wish to prevent your opponent from taking over. Anybody can use it and anyone is using it.

The better argument is that controlled chaos was always the plan so if you manage it, you are successful. It provides cover for all manner of dirty dealings off the official book of accountability, as though anyone plays by said book anyway other than for show.

Opinionated grunts who have skin in the game and have served time in these theaters of conflict are good for on-the-ground experiential observations, but when it comes to the true objectives and over-arching strategies, their analysis generally falls flat on its face, yet they're given considerable shrift because of their skin in the game, and so many are mislead. I take their musings with a grain of salt. Just because you defused bombs on the streets of Mosul and Tikrit doesn't make you an expert on what Iraq was, and is, about. In fact, one can argue your interpretation is more likely to be inaccurate because of your experience — that you'll have a tendency to be biased and partial in one direction or another because of your experience whereas someone without skin in the game can look at the situation untainted with a clear and impartial perspective.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Jun 18 2014 11:26 utc | 97

The same pattern as in Syria is developing in Iraq.
The unsatisfied and desperate for leadership "moderate Sunnis" think it is smart to ally themselves to extremists Islamists to provoke a regime change in Iraq. They believe that at least these fighters have a strong leadership and a infinite network of funds.
The naive Sunni belief is the same that the Syrian rebels had: Once the regime is changed the extremist fighters will leave and moderate Sunnis will retake their legitimate power and glory.

This shows how pathetic the Arab Sunnis have become in the absence of charismatic leaders. Since Gamal Abdel Nasser, there has been no worthwhile secular Sunni leader that could unite the Sunnis. There was a hope that Erdogan could be that person but not only he is not arab but he failed by putting his ottoman greed upfront.
As the Saudi and the Qatar leadership are both useless and corrupted, the frustrated Arab Sunnis have no choice than either become dependent on the USA or follow the leadership of Sunni terrorists. In both cases they are bound to meet another debacle and humiliation.

While Shias and Kurds continue to have strong and charismatic leadership, Sunnis don't seem to be able to produce any strong and charismatic leader who are secular. why?

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 18 2014 13:47 utc | 98

The Iraqis Sunnis are about to bear another humiliation if Al Maliki is able to crush the Sunnis rebels who made the mistake of associating themselves with Al Qaeda groups.
This humiliation would also reflect on the Saudis and the Qataris who have discreetly applauded to the take over of Mossoul by Islamist forces opposed to Al Maliki. They thought that it would humiliate and discredit Al Maliki. What they missed is that the association of legitimate rebels twith recognized terrorists groups has granted Al Maliki with the international green light to crush once for all opponents to his regime.

If all the areas occupied by Al Qaeda and the Iraqi Ssunnis rebels fall back in the hands of the Iraqi army , the victory of Al Maliki over its opponents will be completed and he will be less inclined to negotiate sharing of power with Sunnis suspected of having associated themselves with terrorists.

Overall, as most Saudi initiated actions in the region, it was a bad idea.

Posted by: Virgile | Jun 18 2014 14:27 utc | 99

"Controlled" and "chaos" is just like "military" and "intelligence", it's an oxymoron when you put it in one sentence. If it's controlled, it ain't really chaos but just appears as such. If it's chaotic, noone can really control it.

Posted by: T2015 | Jun 18 2014 15:43 utc | 100

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