Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 03, 2014

Islamic State Attacks In Iraq And Lebanon

The Islamic State is on the march. Over the last days it had conquered several villages in Iraq and today it attacked and conquered the city of Sinjar and the surrounding province of the same name. This is in the north west of Iraq in the Nineveh governorate and the province, next to Mosul, was held by Kurd Peshmerga forces. These folded and fled after they ran out of ammunition. Many villages in the area are inhabited by Yazidi, an Kurd ethno-religious community with an ancient religion comparable to Zoroastrianism.

According to the UN over 200,000 Yazidi have fled from their homes for fear of getting killed by IS savages.

The fighting is moving to the Mosul dam, a strategic target more important than the city it is named after. Today the dam is still held by Kurd forces but as the Islamic State can now attack them from two sides their current position is in trouble.

It only now becomes clear how much material power IS has gained after some divisions of the Iraqi army around Mosul simply dissolved under its first attack. IS has salvaged the nearly complete inventory of four army divisions including tanks, missiles and thousands of tons of ammunition. This is enough material to fit out a mechanized army of some 60,000 men. IS also gained access to air-defense capabilities far beyond the usual Man Portable Missiles (MANPADs). The United States ordered its airlines to fly at higher altitudes over Iraq:

U.S. airlines are now prohibited from flying over Iraq below 30,000 feet, the Federal Aviation Administration said. The agency, which had previously restricted airlines from flying below 20,000, issued the new requirement because of "the potentially hazardous situation created by the armed conflict in Iraq."

The Islamic State is not only attacking in Iraq. In Syria, near the Lebanese border, the Syrian army supported by Hizbullah is clearing the western Qalamon mountain area were several thousand of insurgents had fled to. The Lebanese town of Arsal, just across the border, is the insurgents main support base. The Lebanese army had for some time isolated the town but in the last 24 hours was attacked by major Islamic State forces. Several Lebanese army and policemen were killed and some were captured. The Lebanese army is pouring in more forces but the fighting seems to be very serious. Breaking the isolation of Arsal would allow the Islamic State to attack other areas in Lebanon including those supporting Hizbullah.

The New York Times report on the attack of Arsal is somewhat astonishing (or intentionally) naive about the attacking forces. It takes some ten paragraphs for the reader to find out that the attackers are savages loyal to the Islamic State. The mess starts with the headline: Gunmen From Syria Hit Army Checkpoints in Lebanon

Gunmen who crossed into northeastern Lebanon from Syria attacked several army checkpoints in a border town on Saturday in what appeared to be an effort to win the release of a Syrian rebel who had been detained by Lebanese troops.
... the gunmen, identified as rebel fighters from across the border in Syria.
... attacks by the gunmen ...
... gunmen had also attacked homes ... seized by rebels ...
... the gunmen had also seized 17 members of the security forces at a police station and wanted to exchange them for the Syrian rebel, Imad Ahmad Jomaa, ...
... rebel fighters cross into Lebanon ...
... the army had detained Mr. Jomaa, who was accused of being a commander of a rebel brigade that had joined the Nusra Front, ...
... in a video posted on YouTube late last month, Mr. Jomaa and members of his brigade can be seen pledging their allegiance to a more extreme group, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, or ISIS. ...
The rebels who attacked ...
... least at a local level, Mr. Jomaa and his fighters have publicly embraced ISIS recently.

One really has to read down to last paragraphs of the NYT piece to find out that the local "gunmen" and those glorified "Syrian rebels" involved in attacking the Lebanese army here are fighters loyal to the Islamic State.

Why is the NYT burying this fact? Alarm bells should go off when these radicals, with their now enormous military potential, are launching an all out attack against Lebanese security forces.

Posted by b on August 3, 2014 at 15:38 UTC | Permalink


"U.S. airlines are now prohibited from flying over Iraq below 30,000 feet"

this is a new interpretation to the no-fly zone which US
maintained for years over Iraq 1990s, until iraq war#2

Posted by: chris m | Aug 3 2014 16:10 utc | 1

Divide and conquer?ISIS are our boys,they are going after the Shia,Irans allies.The NYTs is an Israeli mouthpiece,and will do anything and everything to help Israel,although letting a Sunni fundamentalist guerrilla army loose among the ME will most definitely have negative consequences eventually,and then the monsters will mow the lawn.Sick people,these masters of our planet.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 3 2014 16:11 utc | 2

now it seems that a bunch of Jihadists might as well have
declared a no-fly zone of their own. funny.

Posted by: chris m | Aug 3 2014 16:12 utc | 3

Isis is going to get iced by the idf. Isis are expendable mercenaries and once they have pushed into lebanon far enough they will be considered a threat by the west. Lebanon will be in a calculated vice grip. All of this is goinv down because of the israel-lebanon controversy over the water boundaries regarding that large gas reserve in the med.

Posted by: really | Aug 3 2014 16:21 utc | 4

Why is the NYT burying this fact?

I mean, really, why is anyone even reading the NYT's? It's like a horse going back to the same dried creek, hoping to drink.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Aug 3 2014 17:02 utc | 5

ditto @2 and @5...

Posted by: james | Aug 3 2014 17:20 utc | 6

isis sure looks like a front to do some other peoples dirty work..

Posted by: james | Aug 3 2014 17:21 utc | 7

isis sure looks like a front to do some other peoples dirty work..

Posted by: james | Aug 3, 2014 1:21:40 PM | 7

Is this statement reflective of Arab Unexceptionalism? Why do you think Arabs aren't capable of thinking and acting on their own? Why must everything be an American or Jewish controlled ordeal?

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 3 2014 17:25 utc | 8

Details of Suicide Bombers Confessions Revealed – Beirut, Lebanon

The arrested terrorist Naeem Abbas, planner of suicide attacks in Lebanon, has confessed during investigation with the Lebanese army intelligence directorate to his involvement in training and arming Takfiri youth and planning for their suicide attacks, local daily Al-Akhbar reported.

It is worth noting that two other arrested terrorists have said during interrogations that some clerics are recruiting suicide bombers, and others are assisting the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in carrying out terrorist attacks in Lebanon, including Sheikh Houssam Sabbagh of Tripoli.

In 2012, Majed sent Abbas to Syria to create cells of the Brigades with Daftardar and Mohammad Jomaa, in coordination with Khaled Hmayyed.

In 2013, Abbas equipped a car bomb (stolen from Khaldah region in south Beirut) in coordination with Omar S. (nicknamed Abu Farouq), Hussein Z., Ahmad Taha, Mohammad Jomaa and Amin Osman. It was the first booby-trapped car that exploded in Bir al-Abed of Dahiyeh on July 9, 2013.

General Qahwaji: Attack on Army in Arsal Premeditated, Not over recent arrest of al-Nusra Front's leader Imad Ahmed Jomaa

Don't Call Them Al Qaeda, Terror Coming from ISIS (aka AQI, IS)

Posted by: Oui | Aug 3 2014 17:36 utc | 9

why is anyone even reading the NYT's? To watch the enemy ...

Posted by: b | Aug 3 2014 17:41 utc | 10

@8 - that's a fair question cold..

lets go back to the history of the dividing up of these countries.. that is just a small part of the picture into what i think is happening at present in a more nuanced manner.. the arab's aren't removed from a responsibility for what is happening, but i think the usa's constant meddling in others affairs for the past number of years is clear grounds to be completely mistrustful of it's motives and actions..

the fact the usa and israel are tied at the hip is another obvious reason to be suspicious of israels demands on other countries in this same region.. we are always being told about what israel would like to see via the msm - iran, syria, lebannon and on and on.. it is not a balanced viewpoint. of all the countries in the world today, those expressing 'exceptionalism'- the usa and israel, act as if they do whatever they want in this area of the world.. money is an important ingredient, especially when we know mercenary groups have a history from the iraqi war forward to today....

some folks can't be bought off with money which is probably a strange thought to a person steeped in a culture that is entirely focused on money.

Posted by: james | Aug 3 2014 17:46 utc | 11

Good catch, b. What is also important about the NYT story is this:

Reached by phone in Arsal, Abu Osama, a member of Mr. Jomaa’s brigade, said that the sole purpose of Saturday’s attacks was to secure the release of Mr. Jomaa and that they were carried out as a combined operation involving fighters from the Free Syrian Army, the Nusra Front and ISIS.
The U.S. is poised to shower hundreds of millions on FSA which of course will go right to Islamic State.

IS is after the low-hanging fruit. Patrick Cockburn, who has a new book out on Islamic State, is bullish on the prospects of the caliphate. Cockburn says that the Shiite militias mustered by Sistani have been a spectacular failure, mostly because of poor command and control; they're apparently already on their way back to Baghdad.

I wouldn't accept everything Cockburn says because his recent reporting has been overly hostile toward Iraq's Shiite leadership. Nonetheless, his prognosis, Baghdad surrounded and gradually choked out by the Salafis, cannot be ignored.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Aug 3 2014 17:53 utc | 12

@8 cold.

further to my comments, i do think saudi arabia, qatar, and kuwait are all directly responsible for the ISIS. just to be clear, these same 3 countries have a strange and important relationship with the usa as well.. oil and money seem to have undue say in what is happening on the ground in the middle east. ISIS is a front from a variety of special interest groups.. without the funding they wouldn't be happening.. it is the new mercenary force on the ground in the middle east where muslims are murdering other muslims, all in the name of religion or so we are told.. i think this is really a bad joke to suggest it is based on religious divisions.. that is just the tip of the iceberg..

Posted by: james | Aug 3 2014 18:12 utc | 13

why is anyone even reading The Vineyard of the Saker?

To catch the lies. There's so many it's a Jubilee.

We Need To Have Another Talk

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Aug 3 2014 19:04 utc | 14

Very surprising ISIS managed to take Sinjar off the Kurds, if it's really true. A lot of Kurds in Sinjar, and lots of Peshmerga. Quite a notable defeat for the Kurds this time. Also the dam at Eski Mosul - I thought that was in supposedly Kurdish territory too. Of course the Kurds have been showing themselves off as invincible at the moment - keeping peace where the rest of Iraq is in confusion. Seems not so much.

Posted by: Alexno | Aug 3 2014 19:19 utc | 15

@15 Interesting...if true. Surely ISIS was supposed to stop at Mosul. Are they getting out of hand? Will the Kurds call in Israeli air support?

Posted by: dh | Aug 3 2014 19:32 utc | 16

Surely ISIS was supposed to stop at Mosul.

Sinjar is west of Mosul, a mountain ridge, near to the Syrian border, but Kurdish inhabited, and protected by the Peshmerga.

Posted by: Alexno | Aug 3 2014 20:06 utc | 17

You are absolutely right in this article.

The reason for the reluctance of the NYT on this issue, is that ISIS is a creation of Empire, of which the NYT is perhaps its main propaganda organ.

Underling the ISIS and NYT issue, is the article "ISIS And The New Sunni Region" from Red Pill Views.

But your article explaining details of the expansion of this war into the Lebanon, (which was predictable from a Geo Political standpoint) is really interesting.

That is especially true because I have long written that many of these problems are really a subset of the relations between Washington and Tehran.

The nuclear issue is and has always been 98% bogus. The negotiations going on now are essentially about Cold War 2, (which has been declared by the Obamation) and where Iran is going to stand in this new, (old) war.

Is Tehran going to go into the new Russia- China Block and sell its oil in Renminbi? Or is it going to be non aligned, in which case Empire will resuscitate Iran's image in its propaganda organs, like the NYT:-)

At this moment it seems like the latter is going to be the case. Due to this Empire has been the umbrella in negotiating a three way deal between Tehran, Riyadh and Ankara to split Syria and Iraq into regions that each will control. Isis was simply used to break the countries up into bite sized, digestible chunks.

But to do this in the Lebanon, given the large Sh'ia population and the small territorial area, seems like it will be even more messy than Syria and Iraq. So hold on to your seats and lets see how this plays out.

Posted by: Robert Gorden | Aug 3 2014 20:11 utc | 18

@17. Thanks. Could ISIS be trying to grab the Kirkuk–Ceyhan pipeline? Kurds would be lost without that.

Posted by: dh | Aug 3 2014 20:22 utc | 19

Penny at thinks Peshmerga and ISIS are together in the service of the US, rapidly expanding its drone facility at Irbil near Mosul, and notes the presence of Saudi, Egyptian and Pakistani forces at the Iraqi border.

Posted by: sarz | Aug 3 2014 20:53 utc | 20

Today the dam is still held by Kurd forces but as the Islamic State can now attack them from two sides their current position is in trouble.

The Mosul Dam has since been taken over by the fake ISIS according to Al Arabyia and other news outlets.

This is easily the most unstable dam of its size in the world. Have you seen how fast those huge sinkholes develop in Florida when the limestone/dolomite rock dissolves under the clay cover layer? The only thing that might possibly be worse is an underlayment that dissolves even faster than that - say like gypsum.

Welcome to the Mosul dam. Three trillion gallons of water held back by a dam constructed on top of (wait for it...) gypsum. No sense throwing a lot of fancy engineering at a dam built to collapse. The solution to dissolution was to continuously pump cement-like grout in and around the foundation of the dam to fill in the gypsum cavities. I mean, what could possibly go wrong with that plan?

Miracle of miracles, the 24x7 continuous grouting apparently has kept the dam upright for a few decades. The U.S. Air Force even rolled out an 'enhanced grouting plan' in 2007 (and these guys are obviously dam experts). Unfortunately, there's another... er, problem. Salt and phosphate intrusion into the dam's foundation is kind of making the deep, interior concrete fracture and shatter. "Oh hell... we're gonna' need some more grout over here, boys!"

Somewhere around 2009, the Iraqis figured it would be cheaper to fix the dam then buy scuba gear for everyone in the Tigris flood plain below Mosul. There were some studies and arguing and bribing and such, but you know how these big projects drag on. Nothing much has been done since then. Daniel Pipes gives a nice (but dismal) chronological summary here.

Good news: they let some water out of the dam so it's not completely full. Bad news: since the alarming reports a half-decade ago, a considerable amount of refugee population has migrated to and up the Tigris plains. The danger to them, of course, is a torrent of fifty million gallons of water being unleashed. That doesn't sound like that much, does it? Something like 75 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Oh - I left of the 'per second' part.

There are probably a million Iraqis from Mosul to somewhere south of Baghdad that would die in a matter of hours if the dam failed. The U.S. can't even kill Iraqis that fast! At this point, a decent-sized car bomb could probably take out the entire crumbling dam. Either that, or just turn the grout pumps off for a few days and let nature and cheap engineering take its course.

Now imagine you're on the CIA-JSOC payroll as part of the fake ISIS contractors from Constellis Group (kind of like a terrorist temp - no benefits). Your bosses just gave you orders to really beat up on Maliki's private army to juice his arms purchases from the U.S.

It has to be something big to distract sheeple from the botched Ukraine campaign and the Gaza genocide. You know... something REALLY big. Something sensational in that YouTube/LiveLeak sort of way. With plenty of black jihadi flags, euphoric snackbaring and even the celebratory beheading or two.

So you're mulling this over on top of the Mosul dam with your other homicidal psychopath Academi buddies. Hmmmmm.... What to do? What to do?

Posted by: Paveway IV | Aug 3 2014 21:56 utc | 21

Iraqis forces also dissolved in the US war against iraq, not putting up any sort of fight...and now they are doing it again! what a useles bunch

Posted by: brian | Aug 3 2014 22:13 utc | 22

Regarding the NYT report that 'b was talking about, please note as quoted at #12 above that the same NYT report quotes from a rebel source that the attacks at Arsal "were carried out as a combined operation involving fighters from the Free Syrian Army, the Nusra Front and ISIS". There has been lots of fighting on the Syrian side of the border in the Qalamoun area of Syria, near Arsal in Lebanon, for the last nine months (and longer). In all that fighting there have no ISIS rebels, as such, on either side of the Syria-Lebanon border near Arsal; the rebels in the fight in that area are not ISIS rebels. According to 'b' and the NYT, a certain rebel batallion in the area recently allied itself with ISIS. I can tell you it's very possible for the batallion to become re-allied again to some other larger rebel group in the short and medium term -- switching and re-switching large-group alliance is a pretty common occurrence among small-group rebels in general in Syria. Okay, now, from the above facts, I find it perfectly respectable for the NYT writer to speak of the Syrian rebels in the Arsal area as "rebels" and "gunmen", in exactly the way NYT did, as quoted by 'b' (and by the way, I didn't read the NYT article 'b' was talking about).

Therefore, I say 'b' is whining without good cause in this case.

As a separate point, I've said before that in my opinion 'b' should quit reading the NYT for information of any kind on the subject of Syria or Lebanon.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 3 2014 22:31 utc | 23

The following is not totally off-topic because of China's vote in the UN Security Council. It contains an expression of Chinese spirit that China can be expected have in non-China affairs on the UN Security Council. On 30 Jul 2014, a former college teacher named Ilham Tohti, an ethnic Uyghur, was indicted for separatist activity in northwest China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. On 30 Jul 2014, a spokesperson of the U.S. State Department, Marie Harf, said the U.S. side was deeply concerned about the indictment of Ilham Tohti, and called on China to release him and to guarantee his human rights and freedom. On 31 Jul 2014, a news reporter asked the Chinese Foreign Ministry to comment on the case, and spokesman Qin Gang of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in response: "Ilham Tohti violated Chinese law, and his case is being processed in accordance with the law.... The U.S. side has on many occasions made irresponsible remarks on China's law enforcement and judicial practices under the disguise of their so-called 'human rights' and 'freedom', which constitutes wanton interference in China's sovereignty.... We demand the U.S. side to immediately correct their mistakes and stop saying or doing anything that interferes in China's internal affairs."

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 3 2014 22:49 utc | 24

@ Paveway IV, thanks for the info. I don't know the first thing about dams. I checked the wiki for the Mosul dam and what I gather is that its collapse will really hurt Baghdad, but will totally destroy Mosul, which is the ISIS power base. Of course, I'm well aware that ISIS is a CIA/Mossad front and neither of them care at all about Mosul. But still, ISIS depends on it for its power base. Once it's gone, ISIS is gone. Baghdad will recover and be able to reassert authority over northern Iraq.

Also, I'm curious what the dam's collapse would do to Turkey's water supply.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 3 2014 23:25 utc | 26

Today sure has the End of Days feeling. Although this may all be incompetence “Things do fall apart”; I’m afraid Israel let the cat out of the bag. “Mowing the lawn” is not limited to Palestinians. It is Shiites too. From Lebanon to Baghdad to Basra, they had better be digging tunnels and planting IEDs. The Sunni Shiite Holy War is on. The likely collateral damage to the West starts with a Islamic State no fly zone and ends with the closure of the Straits of Hormuz.

Ukrainians are also being trimmed. If Donetsk is encircled, a city of a million people will be subject to bombardment and starvation. Russia will intervene or Vladimir Putin will be disposed and ultra-nationalists will seize control. Then the human race will be mulched.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Aug 3 2014 23:53 utc | 27


The collapse of the dam wouldn't effect turkeys water supply one little bit

You have it back to front. Turkey is upriver not down river frm iraq. One of the main reasons that there have been water problems in the countries south of turkey, syria iraq etc, is because of turkish dams.

Turkish dams are a strategic project ostensibly designed for electric power generation and also ostensibly for turkish water needs. However imo these turkish dams are mainly to controlwater flow to countries like syria and iraq, and thus help destroy their economies


You sir, are an alarmist chicken little idiot

Posted by: Priseless | Aug 4 2014 0:08 utc | 28

The harder the US/EU/Israel/ISIS front pushes in Ukraine and the Middle East the more likely is it that someone will pull out the first nuke.

Our last sight will be the fading smile of Barack Obama, The Nobel Peace Prize Clown.

Posted by: john francis le | Aug 4 2014 0:16 utc | 29

Nukes are off the menu entirely. The nukers would still have to live on whats left of the planet. Despite the best efforts of the gullible and childishly impressionable to convince people otherwise, the rulers are much more rational than gullible or dishonest idiots would have us believe. After all, they live here too, dont they?

T here aint gonna be no nukein. Anyone telling you otherwise is either a deliberate scaremonger or a cretin. (#28 for example)

Both the US and the Soviets used the threat of nuke war to control their own populations as much as for anything else.

Posted by: Priseless | Aug 4 2014 0:34 utc | 30

Imagine if the US didn't want to get rid of Iraq as a Shia polity. It would take a week long air campaign to remove ISIS as a conventional force.

They'd have to return to old fashion guerilla stuff.

Poor Iraq. Hopefully they'll be able to regroup, with the help of Iran, and hold these takfiri slaughterers off.

Posted by: Crest | Aug 4 2014 1:27 utc | 31


I am some of the above but no nuclear war expert as you said. Nevertheless, there has never been a shooting war between two nuclear powers including Pakistan and India because the conflict will inevitable escalate to an exchange of nuclear weapons. Anyone who says that NATO and Russia could fight a shooting war in Ukraine without one side or the other using a nuclear weapon is detached from reality.

Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) has worked as a deterrence for war between the USA and Russia since 1949 when the Soviet Union exploded their first bomb until today. Even so the two countries almost had nuclear wars in 1962 and 1983. Today is just as dangerous as then. Both the Ukraine Crisis and the Sunni Shiite Jihad could result in nuclear wars. Adding to the danger in the Levant, Israel uses the Sampson Option to guarantee its security:

Posted by: VietnamVet | Aug 4 2014 1:37 utc | 32

@VietnamVet #28:

If Donetsk is encircled, a city of a million people will be subject to bombardment and starvation. Russia will intervene or Vladimir Putin will be disposed and ultra-nationalists will seize control.

Don't worry about Novorossia. It will be all right. In this day and age, conscripting young men to kill their fellow citizens doesn't sell very well, even after twenty years of hard-core fascist propaganda.

Plus, there is a Russian saying: when a Ukrainian becomes intelligent, he becomes Russian. So there is incompetence at all levels of the Ukrainian military.

As far as I can tell, the Russian "ultra-nationalists" themselves don't even take themselves seriously. The Russian government is stable. The Russians know the Americans color revolution tricks inside and out.

Trust me, the Ukraine is a completely artificial country, and what we are now seeing is its unviability playing out. And I am speaking as someone who was even willing to give the Ukraine a chance as a country, by reading A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian (which was written in English).

As for the Middle East, I really don't know that much about it. I agree that events there have an apocalyptic feel to them.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 4 2014 1:49 utc | 33

@VietnamVet #33:

Speaking of nuclear holocaust, here is what I think is the best political song of all time:

Atom Drum Bop

Welcome to district no. 8.

Land of the American helpers
The security needs of the United States
Have written the great modern fiction
This is the jargon of playground brawl
Who is the toughest?
American tests and Soviet tests
The odd computer reads out death
As new missiles come in generations
New models to be sold like cars
A bomb, H bomb, Minutemen
The names get more attractive

Welcome to the land of the Tomahawks
Missiles for American cowboys
Where our decisions are made by NATO.
The press call it British opinion
See the reports on the television
The decisions are already made

The a voice is the voice of the expert
Oh Queen Mother smile again

Welcome to the land of the mutants
Radiation and destruction

When it comes to the C.R.U.N.C.H.
Will you dance? Will you dance?
When it come to the C.R.U.N.C.H.
Will you dance? Will you dance?
Will you dance to the atom drum bop?

When it come to the crunch
The rich are in their shelters

Welcome to the land of the dissidents
With a 15 minute warning
To construct a sandbag shelter
No time, no point to crawl inside
When it comes to the crunch
It'll all be spelt out for us.

Welcome to the land of disregard
Apocalypse for breakfast
This is the E.N.D. radio

Posted by: Demian | Aug 4 2014 2:34 utc | 34


I have long suspected that Franklin Lamb is CIA. This article sounds like its real intent is to increase recruitment for Daash ('ISIS', 'IS') and to give the impression that they are unbeatable, building momentum behind Daash while claiming to side with Hezbollah. Some of the ISIS 'victories' have been smoke and mirrors, including fake terror videos along with genuine beheadings. All with an eye to recruitment - motivating Islamist fanatics and creating new ones all over the already-Saudi-dominated and increasingly Wahhabist Sunni world. In India, for example, one hears questionable tales of thousands of ISIS volunteers. Lamb seems to be part of the same game.

Another clue to where the ISIS planning is coming from: if you compare the perfect Arabist English translation of the 'caliph's' first sermon with the imperfect daily translations of, say, Press TV, you get the impression that the caliph's speech was first written in Arabist English in a place like Princeton, by a team headed by someone like Bernard Lewis, and then translated into Arabic.

Posted by: sarz | Aug 4 2014 4:28 utc | 35

Somebody is a bit worried about potential Blowback...

Saudi Arabia has deployed thousands of troops from Egypt and Pakistan along its frontier with Iraq, amid fears of an invasion by the al-Qaeda splinter group that has declared a radical Islamic state across the border, reported The Times on Saturday.

Saudi Arabia has been strengthening its border defences since the crisis in Iraq began. Panicked by the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (Isis), Riyadh has taken the drastic step of calling in military assistance from its close allies to shore up the porous 500-mile border, Gulf security sources said. Saudi Arabia spent an estimated 35 billion pounds sterling on defence last year, leapfrogging Britain as the world’s fourth-largest military spender. This massive outlay highlights Riyadh’s unease.

Posted by: CTuttle | Aug 4 2014 10:25 utc | 36

Priseless @ 31 said:

"Nukes are off the menu entirely."


"There aint gonna be no nukein."

well, i suppose this is your way of saying that all of the blood and gore, the genocide and violence, the authoritarian cruelty and outright oppression, the environmental degradation, the lies, lies, lies that we've seen up to now is somehow an expression of rational behavior. that we (the human race) are actually a pretty reasonable existent.

that it's become almost quaint to talk about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki(which of course were preceded by the firebombing of 67 other Japanese cities. a campaign, like the atomic one, directed exclusively against civilians).

pull your head out of the sand, fuckwits.

"We have had the bomb on our minds since 1945. It was first our weaponry and then our diplomacy, and now it's our economy. How can we suppose that something so monstrously powerful would not, after forty years, compose our identity? The great golem we have made against our enemies is our culture, our bomb culture--its logic, its faith, its vision." (E.L.Doctorow)

Posted by: john | Aug 4 2014 10:28 utc | 37


Interesting. One more thing about that piece. Who puts their "address" at the end of an article unless its a foundation, work or business? And there are no other credentials or achievements mentioned.

Posted by: really | Aug 4 2014 11:46 utc | 38

Funny how US manged to bomb Taliban multiple times yesterday, while they can't find a single muslim extremist in Iraq...

The show is way beyond ridiculous now. Not even the very producers can take it seriously anymore as it seems.

Posted by: T2015 | Aug 4 2014 13:04 utc | 39

This article mentions that what is happening in Arsal fell on the Sunni-led Future Movement bloc. This statement was made by a former lebanon security head as mentioned in the article. But what is interesting is that the future movement bloc has ties to the old. Sunni-led March 14 coalition which was backed by the US in 2009.

"...On one side is the March 14 coalition, which holds the majority bloc and is led by the Sunni Muslim Future Movement of Saad Hariri, whose father’s assassination in 2005 led to huge protests that forced Syria to withdraw its troops from Lebanon. On the other side is the March 8 coalition, whose two main members are Hezbollah and the Christian party of Mr. Aoun, the Free Patriotic Movement."...

Posted by: really | Aug 4 2014 14:34 utc | 40

- In one regard Hezbollah is on the same side as the US. The US is busy making a deal with Iran. And makes Hezbollah a "friend" of the US as well.
- Perhaps the NYT wants to hide how expansive ISIS has become and threathens the northren border of Israel.

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 4 2014 20:42 utc | 41


I don't think hezbollah considers the US a friend because THE US designates them as a terrorist group. Now if hezbollah thinks the US is their friend they are extremely naive and not that historically astute. Remember bin ladens mujahadeen and saddam hussein were friends of the US at one time in the past. The word "friend" in the US politcal lexicon really means "disposable temporary tool".

Posted by: really | Aug 4 2014 21:52 utc | 42

@Paveway: very interesting info.


@Robert Gordon: Thanks for the interesting analysis of late. This, though, leaves me partially scratching my head: Due to this Empire has been the umbrella in negotiating a three way deal between Tehran, Riyadh and Ankara to split Syria and Iraq into regions that each will control. Which part is Turkey going to get? Certainly not more Kurds to torture? I can't imagine that they'd take on the Syrian Army, either. Frankly, Turkey seems like a tinderbox. If it wasn't for the state of the economy, my guess is the country would erupt, taking Erdogan down which would cause the army to revert to its old games. Turkey, if I had to guess, has very few moves available to it.


Dick-less strikes again. Thanks for the brain-dead banalities, genius.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 5 2014 0:19 utc | 43

Sorry, but this idea that ISIS will attack Israel is unfounded. They have clearly stated Israel is way, way down on their list of targets:

Since the recent escalation between Israel and Islamist terrorists in Gaza, some of those critics have questioned why a self-declared "Caliphate" is not rushing to the aid of Muslims in the Hamas-controlled territory.

...he pointed out that ISIS has been taking a systematic approach in its campaign, and outlined six specific stages it said needed to be fulfilled before taking on Israel.

Some of those "stages" - building a firm base for an Islamic state in Iraq, and using it as a springboard to wage war in Syria and Lebanon - have already been achieved. But he said a number of other criteria still needed to be fulfilled before challenging Israel directly.

Among them, Nuseiri said that the US - seen as Israel's greatest ally - needed to be weakened politically and economically via attacks on the American mainland, as well as US interests in Muslim countries. Additionally, the existing "Islamic State" needed to expand its borders to cover all of "Greater Syria" (which would include Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and possibly Gaza); such a state, he said, would then be in a position for a direct confrontation with Israel.

So to be clear, before ISIS attacks Israel it has to wipe out Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan then fight the US on its home turf then think about maybe doing something to Israel.

So... its not going to happen. I suspect ISIS is completely driven by FUKUSIKSA (figure that one out) and that its main goal - should it establish itself in Iraq in any meaningful way - will be to A) cut off Iran from Lebanon, thereby further weakening the Palestinian chances for successful resistance, not enhancing it B) attack Iran (and Southern Iraq) to the geo-political advantage of the United States, just as Saddam Hussein did.

Forget this idea that ISIS will ever attack Israel - though this idea that Israel would attack ISIS as a pretext to get an upper-hand over Syria and Lebanon is quite interesting.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 5 2014 0:30 utc | 44

You are right. ISIS is the dog that didn't bark during Gaza's long night.
The Israeli attack on Gaza offered ISIS the perfect opportunity to show real support for Palestine.

Instead it redoubled its attacks on those who might have opened a second front against Israel: specifically Hezbollah, its Lebanese allies and Syria.

The details of the relationship between ISIS, the Sauds, the US and Israel are of little concern- the reality is that whatever motivates ISIS it is not opposition to Israel and the Empire.

Objectively ISIS is, without the shadow of a doubt, allied with Tel Aviv against the, largely sunni, population of Gaza.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 5 2014 1:45 utc | 45

The NYT now has a new report about Arsal in Lebanon, dated Tuesday 5 Aug -- ref. I haven't read it, because reading the NYT is beneath my dignity (I'm serious, sigh). But via I see the NYT headline is "Border Fighting Intensifies Between ISIS and Lebanon". This fits the USA gov't's stated position -- see e.g. the UN Security Council resolution passed unanimously on Monday 4 Aug which "expressed support for the Lebanese Armed Forces... in their fight against terrorism". The narrative emphasis now is that the character of the rebels in Arsal is ISIS and al-Qaeda. This is downplaying the fact that the Arsal gunmen are with miscellaneous Syrian rebel groups who've been fighting in the Qalamoun area in Syria. These include some large percentage that is not avowedly allied with ISIS or Jabhat Nusra (and instead are allied with other formal rebel aggregations or coalitions -- see List_of_armed_groups_in_the_Syrian_civil_war (yawn)), and some much larger percentage, almost 100%, are not members of ISIS as such.

Posted by: Parviziyi | Aug 5 2014 2:00 utc | 46

@46 "Objectively ISIS is, without the shadow of a doubt, allied with Tel Aviv against the, largely sunni, population of Gaza."

Certainly. Of course, they are a distinct group with one goal - the murder of Shia Muslims. All else, even to help their fellow Sunnis - is secondary. Like any good fascists, their hatred must by definition be a more important part of their ideology than the group they might ostensibly claim to "love".

As such, they form the perfect suicide brigades of the Empire.

The perverted psyches of such fiends (at work in Ukraine as well), though, could hardly more frightening than those of the CIA agents who have helped form them into what they've become... Imagine, if you dare, what goes on in the head of some monster like Yatsenuk..."the suicide Prime Minister" of a poor country which he knows damn well he will impoverish, kill, or torture many of its citizens.

These people make Jeffrey Dahmer look like a suitable candidate for high office.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 5 2014 3:21 utc | 47

Where in the world is Pirouz? He was a great commenter.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 5 2014 3:36 utc | 48

Lebanese FM: Israel & ISIL Share Same Principles and Work on Eliminating Pluralism in Mideast

Lebanese Foreign Minister, Jebran Bassil, himself a Christian, gave a speech during a meeting for the Palestine Committee of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Tehran. He pointed out that the developments in the Gaza Strip, the Iraqi city of Mosul, and the Lebanese northeastern border town of Arsal are the same. Arsal had come under an attack by militants from ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) last weekend, and the Lebanese Army is still engaged in a battle against them.

He stated that the Jewish state of Israel and the Islamic State of ISIL share common principles such as killing in the name of religion, forcibly displacing people in the name of the project of their state, and eliminating the ‘Other’ in the name of monolithism. He also stated that this is done with Western support, while the Middle East disintegrates and pluralism disappears.

Recent videos emerging from different parts of Syria and Iraq where ISIL operates have shown how the indigenous population of these areas is being driven out and replaced by foreign people coming from all over the world, where these new "citizens" already follow the Wahhabi ideology of ISIL. The same has been happening in Israel for a long time, where the native Palestinian population was and is still being driven out to be replaced by foreign people coming from all over the world because they happen to be "Jewish" and follow the same Zionist ideology of Israel.

Link to Video

Posted by: Juan Moment | Aug 5 2014 3:42 utc | 49

You are right. ISIS is the dog that didn't bark during Gaza's long night. well, DUH

So finally the fake-left retard tag-team of bevin and his offical Chef-De-Rim-Job gimp77 have finally conceded what everyone but those two halfwits realised yonks ago: ISIS works for KSA/Israel/US.

Now the Pontiff of Canadian pomposity tries to pretend that "The details of the relationship between ISIS, the Sauds, the US and Israel are of little concern" simply because the pathetically pompous a**hole has been wrong all along but like the pompous git that he is he refuses to admit it.

This is a measure of how dishonest and completely lacking in integrity these too fake-left asshats are

Posted by: Chortle | Aug 5 2014 10:30 utc | 50

. I suspect ISIS is completely driven by FUKUSIKSA

the gimp "suspects"? Wow, how astute. Way ahead of the curve there, eh gimp?

Months after everyone else the gimp has finally got around to "I suspect" - what a braindead wanker he is, too busy on his knees handing out rim-jobs for his fave bumchum bevin to notice that everyone else, at least those with any intelligence, moved on from "I suspect" a long time ago

Posted by: Chortle | Aug 5 2014 10:34 utc | 51

bevin, and his sycophant gimp77, are the kind of commenters that give bullshit a bad name

Posted by: Chortle | Aug 5 2014 10:48 utc | 52

I've been watching the near pathological certainty about the Islamic State parroted here and elsewhere. It seems that the exceptional Amerikan is unable to even contemplate the idea that Arabs could and have broken the stranglehold of the Western Hegemon. They must be lackies just like everyone else including those in the Homeland or their whole worldview will crumble.

The present conflict in Gaza may be the cause celebre for bed-wetting Liberals but it has little bearing on the actual liberation of Palestine which the IS has been planning for years.

The Islamic State is busy fighting and winning battles on many fronts and supporting Hamas has never been part of their plan. They are organizing and recruiting in Israel and the Occupied Territories to bring the Palestinians back to the correct path and reject and destroy Hamas and the PA, then and only then will the Liberation begin.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 5 2014 15:58 utc | 53

- Very good points. But when the US is "kissing up" with Iran then at some point the relationship of Iran with Hezbollah will surface in the discussion. Then Iran can demand that the US & Israel will have to re-think their position regarding Hezbollah.

- Indeed, a friend of the US is a friend as long as the friendship serves the purpose of US foreign policy.

- According to Patrick Cockburn the iraqi government is getting weaker & weaker. And don't think the iraqi army is capable of fighting ISIS.
(an interview of Scott Horton (former radiohost of with Patrick Cockburn (of the UK newspaper "The Independent")).

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 5 2014 17:10 utc | 54

You really post a lot an enormous amount of crap

Even this bit of MSM bullshit "analysis" from the NYT admits that the hrapnel from the BUK system missile is diamond-shaped

After the burnout of motors, the missile, which would then weigh about 800 pounds, would approach the targeted aircraft and a proximity fuze would detonate its warhead, causing its sleeves to shatter into diamond-shaped bits about the size of a quarter. Depending on the model, the standoff for the blast might be 30 to 100 meters, Mr. Foster said, or about 100 to 300 feet.

When even the execrable NYT is more honest than you are, it really is time to give up and admit you were just bullshitting all along

Posted by: Chortle | Aug 5 2014 18:26 utc | 55

whoops - wrong thread

Posted by: Chortle | Aug 5 2014 18:37 utc | 56

Cheneys Gulf War 2 was entirely about oil supply destruction on behalf of his Saudi and Houston Energy Policy Committee, destroying lightest, cheapest crude supply on Earth, spiking oil from $15 to $143 a barrel, the greatest, most meteoric spike in a strategic commodity since cave men ran out of firewood.

The strategy hasnt changed. These are oil wars, for billions in excess oil profits, day after day, a perpetual QEn for The Chosen. ISIS doesnt cost them a penny. Neither, prolly, did Hitlers Brown Shirts.

Starve the population works just as well globally, as it does in Gaza and Rahmallah.

Posted by: Chip Nihk | Aug 5 2014 19:50 utc | 57

We never heard nothing about ISIS until Iraq announced they had restored oil production to pre-GW levels, with potential to 8MBD, were open for long-term supply contracts, and began to crater oil futures. Not even one month passed before ISIS appeared on the scene, and not one of the oil powers will lift a finger. These arent holy wars, these are oil wars over whether you have heat this winter. Your government has betrayed you. Your Defense only defends Mil.Gov and The Chosen.

Posted by: Chip Nihk | Aug 5 2014 19:57 utc | 58

"...These arent holy wars, these are oil wars over whether you have heat this winter. Your government has betrayed you you have heat this winter. Your government has betrayed you Your Defense only defends Mil.Gov and The Chosen."

Posted by: Chip Nihk | Aug 5, 2014 3:57:18 PM | 59

I agree with your oil war assessment. In my opinion the upheaval is not to provide heat as so much it is to manipulate the price of that heat.

News from hizbollah...

"...Hizbullah on Tuesday denied that its fighters were involved in the ongoing battles between army troops and extremist militants in the eastern border town of Arsal, hailing the cabinet's “firm stance to confront takfiri terrorism.”

"What is happening on ground, like dealing with the military situation, protecting citizens and confronting terrorist armed groups is exclusively the responsibility of the Lebanese army,” Hizbullah said in a statement released on Tuesday afternoon".

And Hizbullah has not intervened in what is happening in Arsal,” the statement assured."...

Posted by: really | Aug 5 2014 20:14 utc | 59

58, 59, 60

all 3 are interesting commentary

We never heard nothing about ISIS until Iraq announced they had restored oil production to pre-GW levels, with potential to 8MBD, were open for long-term supply contracts, and began to crater oil futures. Not even one month passed before ISIS appeared on the scene,

Posted by: Chip Nihk | Aug 5, 2014 3:57:18 PM | 59

interesting narrative - didn't make that connection - thank you

These arent holy wars,

they almost never are

Posted by: Chortle | Aug 5 2014 20:25 utc | 60

I agree with your oil war assessment. In my opinion the upheaval is not to provide heat as so much it is to manipulate the price of that heat.

good point - most likely to be ignored by many

Posted by: Chortle | Aug 5 2014 20:45 utc | 61

Wayoutwest is correct in general if not in the specifics ...there is ethnic conceit in much of the inferred defeatism proferred by the Indispensable Nation's Conspiratological runoff. But Hamas itself would have stayed bought if their orthodoxy held.

The ideology of ISIS however might ultimately preclude it from playing the dominant or even pivotal role wayoutwest suggests.

Posted by: truthbetold | Aug 6 2014 0:52 utc | 62


So not being able to come up with an even slightly coherent counter-argument you clowns decided on the ingenious plan: "lets just scream "racist"?

Even by your very very low standards, thats pretty pathetic

Posted by: Chortle | Aug 6 2014 1:20 utc | 63

Truthbetold, please explain what you mean by the Islamic State's "ideology" precluding their role in ME affairs. They seem to be driving the agenda already and everyone else is reacting to their power.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 6 2014 16:07 utc | 64

It's not just that dumbass can't even keep his many screen names straight, it now looks like dumbass can't even keep which threads he wants to troll straight.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 6 2014 23:16 utc | 65


Isis is more than likely backed by the saudis. They both share the same relious ideology. That is why they seem "unstoppable". They are the equivalent of mafia made men. But some of those made men can get snuffed if they get out of line. Let's see if that happens.

Posted by: really | Aug 8 2014 1:47 utc | 66


Saudi nor any other Kings are allowed in the Caliphate so their beliefs are not the same. The Saudis are nationalists while the IS is internationalist, dedicated to destroying all borders and uniting all Muslims under one flag. Underestimating your opponent is a sure path to defeat especially if that opponent is organized, motivated, cunning, heavily armed and self-funded.

We are all going to see a historic rearrangement of power of Biblical or Koranic proportions in the ME and there doesn't seem to be anyone who can stop it.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 8 2014 3:27 utc | 67

Isis is likely backed by the same Saudis who backed Al-Aqaida and the mujahadin before them ... well off and comfortable and pious... quite possibly part of the mandatory tithing required of all the devout and able to contribute their share for the needy.
As Bin Laden was their nightmare blacksheep son, whose primary target was in fact, America's whore, KSA. ISIS is an army of blacksheep sons all too likely in time to return home to KSA, Jordan, Yemen, etc.
This appears to be a massive miscalculation by their Saudi supporters.... reminding me of Christian end-timers... whose eyes are so fixed on the "prize" that they don't seem to ruffled by the havoc and mayhem their policies foster.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 8 2014 18:06 utc | 68

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