Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 10, 2014

The Islamic State Prepares For A Big Attack - Baghdad Or Aleppo?

A month ago I wrote that the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) is now the only game in town when it comes to insurgents fighting against the Syrian (and now also Iraqi) state:

In a few month the Islamic Front will no longer exist. It will vanish like that phantasy of a Free Syrian Army. Parts of it will swear allegiance to the Islamic State, parts will give up fighting and parts will change over to the government side. Then the real war against ISIS will start.

The "moderate rebels" Washington has been searching for for years are a unicorn. Whomever the U.S. gave weapons to and trained in Jordan and Turkey is now part of ISIS.

The Islamic State consolidates itself (recommended) in west Iraq and across the east and north of Syria:

The frontiers of the new Caliphate declared by Isis on 29 June are expanding by the day and now cover an area larger than Great Britain and inhabited by at least six million people, a population larger than that of Denmark, Finland or Ireland. In a few weeks of fighting in Syria Isis has established itself as the dominant force in the Syrian opposition, ...

By now IS generates enough money from oil sales and blackmail to support itself. It has taken an immense haul of weapons from four Iraqi divisions and now also from the Syrian Brigade 93 which it defeated a week ago:

In addition to 5+ 122mm D-30 howitzers, the IS captured approx. 20 T-55 tanks & 1 ZSU-23-4 Shilka SPAAG

Note: The haul in Iraq was much, much bigger than this one.

The Islamic State has enough experienced soldiers to handle these weapons. How good its logistics are run though is an open questions. Those may eventually turn out to be its weak point.

The Islamic State also gained in numbers. Even the ardent promoter of the non-existent Syrian Free Army Hassan Hassan now admits that all these folks are under IS control. International forces so far aligned with Al-Qaeda are moving over to IS. Tribes in the newly captured areas pledge allegiance to the Islamic State and add to its forces.

One military expert says:

ISIL has now progressed from local victories to a regional strategy. They have moved from what is referred to in Counterinsurgency warfare as Phase II to Phase III operations, or transformation from fixed covert insurgency to an overt war of mobility. This is when a terrorist group grows strong enough to come out of the shadows to transform into a mobile “liberation army”.

Colonel Pat Lang remarks:

Today I am told that DoD has decided that the IS force is the most capable non-Israeli army in the ME. pl

IS has lots of light and heavy weapons, it has money, it is led by experienced senior officers from Saddam's old army and it has a large force of indoctrinated foot soldiers. What is it going to do with these capabilities?

In his speech declaring the Caliphate Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi promised to do something big. He needs a big event to consolidate his position. The former Saddam officers aligned with IS want to capture Baghdad and regain their old status. The current attack against the Kurdish Erbil is not the big one but just a sideshow. Baghdadi wants to eliminate it as a U.S. position that could otherwise be used to attack his back. As Pat Land sees it:

When they are done in the north they will return to the problem of eliminating the present Iraqi government. I doubt if they plan to occupy the Shia south of Iraq but the destruction of what remains of Iraqi government central authority is certainly possible.

If they succeed in doing that much, Jordan, Lebanon and the Gulf will beckon.

But over the last weeks the Islamic State also consolidated its position in Syria and connected the two battlefields into one.

Elijah J Magnier, a Middle East analyst and journalist with excellent sources, suggests a different target for the big attack as storyfied here. Excerpts:

Hundreds of tanks & sophisticated anti-air artillery gained from #Iraq & #Syria are gathering for a spectacular attack Baghdadi promised.
...
2my mind, #IS is pulling z attention on #Iraq 2hit harder in #Syria, knowingly that a) #SAA & #Assad would attract less interntionl help

Magnier suggests that the Islamic State will run a spectacular attack on Aleppo and will probably capture the city. He is right to believe that - should the Islamic State use its full force - the weakened Syrian army will have little chance to hold this important city. The result would be a huge bloodbath.

While the U.S. would probably try to stop an attack on Baghdad, though impossible with a few pinprick airstrikes, it is unlikely that any international help would come to counter an attack on Aleppo. Patrick Cockburn concurs:

Isis may well advance on Aleppo in preference to Baghdad: it’s a softer target and one less likely to provoke international intervention. This will leave the West and its regional allies – Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey – with a quandary: their official policy is to get rid of Assad, but Isis is now the second strongest military force in Syria; if he falls, it’s in a good position to fill the vacuum. Like the Shia leaders in Baghdad, the US and its allies have responded to the rise of Isis by descending into fantasy.

In my view the Islamic State is at its core a genocidal and extremely dangerous force that should be defeated by all means as soon as possible. There are now believable claims that it just killed or buried alive some 500 Yazidi. This isn't its first or last massacre it committed. The Islamic State has thereby very different dimensions than the laughing stock Al-Qaeda threat we were told to fear over the last decades. If it has more time to gain additional resources it will become much more difficult to defeat.

Unfortunately, because the threat of the old Al-Qaeda was over-hyped, this new force has little to fear from the "west". Obama promised to only protect Erbil for its oil and for its value as an intelligence base. A few air attacks from a far away carrier can not hold a city against a determined capable force. Erbil may soon fall.

Obama withholds any further weapons or help to the government of Iraq because he wants to blackmail it into some phantasy of "national unity government":

The ongoing strikes, which began Friday, address “immediate” concerns of protecting Americans, besieged minorities and critical infrastructure in the north, Obama said. But comprehensive aid to push back advances by the Sunni Muslim extremists through much of the country over the past two months will require a new Iraqi government, he said.

For the first time I can think of I -in this case- agree with the neocon warmonger John McCain:

Mr. McCain said he would favor sending combat air controllers into Iraq to help identify targets for airstrikes. Heavy military equipment should be rushed into Erbil, the Kurdish capital, the senator said. And he said he believed the airstrikes must extend into ISIS-controlled territory in Syria.

Airstrikes can not win wars and can not take ground away from the Islamic State. Local forces will have to do that. But airstrikes can destroy its heavy weapons and the ammunition depots it captured. The Syrian air-force is too small to achieve this. An Iraqi air-force does not exists. Turkey and Jordan have some capabilities but are either unofficially allied with IS or fear its retribution. The U.S. could run such an air campaign. It would take the U.S. air-force supported by special operation groups on the ground only a few weeks to reduce the Islamic State to an infantry force incapable of larger geographic actions.

But Obama and the people informing him still believe that the Islamic State, which they partially helped to grow, is some cuddly homegrown Al-Qaeda that can be used to further this or that geopolitical phantasy. They are wrong to believe this.

Posted by b on August 10, 2014 at 17:31 UTC | Permalink

Comments
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@ToivoS #94:

Soldiers cannot really be trained for combat on the training grounds. It takes real combat experience to gain that training.

That's probably correct (I can't say; I have no military experience), but that does not mean that making a serious effort to train soldiers before they see battle does not considerably increase their chances of not perishing the first time they see battle.

OT, but the Kiev junta drafts Ukrainian males, gives them only two or three days of "training", and then sends them into battle. I would suggest that 2 or 3 days vs. 2 or 3 months of training makes a difference.

Thus, the Kiev junta treats their population as completely expendable. But this is just the old Anglophone colonial game. The English Empire treated their Indian soldiers as expendable, too.

Posted by: Demian | Aug 11 2014 6:48 utc | 101

"The US best choice is to get the Brits in (50-100,000 would be about right)
and leave them there-----
The UK was always behind the that fake religion called Wahhabiism
(remember Lawrence of Arabia)
and that other fake religion called Zionism.
or should we call it Anglo-Zionism)

oh and leave behind a few F-16s and other assorted hardware)

Thanks but no thanks

Posted by: chris m | Aug 10, 2014 5:13:18 PM | 36"

Finally another guy with no blinders on... you are right bro.

Posted by: T2010 | Aug 11 2014 7:11 utc | 102

"Obama would have to request Congressional approval because the War Powers Act won't carry him through any kind of build up, and there won't be a vote until after the election.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Aug 10, 2014 5:45:17 PM | 40"

Sorry but that is nonsense. He needs no approval at all from anyone, because the country is officially in state of emergency (or rather multiple such, prolonged yearly - see whitehouse.gov for proof). In a state of national emergency, there is no congress and no laws, all of that chatter is just theater for the gullible.

Posted by: T2010 | Aug 11 2014 7:16 utc | 103

c@60, john francis lee

I wrote an application to archive web pages just in case something like this happened: the WaybackMachine

https://web.archive.org/web/20140809012655/http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/">http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/">https://web.archive.org/web/20140809012655/http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/


OK, I totally lied about writing it. But if you used it, you would already know that by now!

Posted by: Paveway IV | Aug 11 2014 7:22 utc | 104

"all the Islamic State and ISIS before it are proving is islam is a religion of war

Posted by: brian | Aug 10, 2014 6:46:21 PM | 46"

Stop selling disinfo. They are heretics made and handled by the brits and their vassals and they are killing muslims more than anyone else.

That they say they're muslims, that means nothing. It is a lie, plain and simple.

Posted by: T2010 | Aug 11 2014 7:24 utc | 105

@T2010 #96:

Speaking of Anglo-Zionism, I haven't seen anyone here or at the Saker bring up this post by Thierry Meyssan. Highly recommended reading for anyone interested in the concept of Anglo-Zionism.

Meyssan argues that Zionism actually originated with Anglophone Puritan and later dispensationalist Protestantism, not with Jews.

Until nearly the end of the nineteenth century, Zionism is therefore exclusively a puritan Anglo-Saxon project to which only a Jewish elite adheres. It is strongly condemned by the rabbis who interpret the Torah as an allegory and not as a political plan.

Among the current consequences of these historical facts, we must admit that if Zionism aims at the creation of a state for the Jews, it is also the foundation of the United States. Therefore, the question of whether policy decisions are all made ​​in Washington or Tel Aviv has only relative interest. It is the same ideology that is in power in both countries. Furthermore, Zionism having enabled the reconciliation between London and Washington, the challenge is to tackle this alliance, the most powerful one in the world.

(That is a quote that Meyssan gives from a book, but it's not clear to me from the blog post which of the books that are cited the quote is from.)

Posted by: Demian | Aug 11 2014 7:30 utc | 106

Hmmm. I don't think the MoA likes to see a second 'http:' anywhere in a link besides the beginning.

Let's experiment:

Try https://web.archive.org/web/20140809012655/www.informationclearinghouse.info/

Posted by: Paveway IV | Aug 11 2014 7:32 utc | 107

an iraqi lawyer talks on the current crisis in Iraq:
'S: Yes, that’s correct. Under the Ba’ath Party regime, there was no political freedom, but there was a high degree of social freedom. Muslim, Christian, Jew and Atheist could do their own thing in their own way, as long as they stayed out of politics. Today, we have political freedom–in theory at least–but practically no social freedom, as unaccountable religious militias control every aspect of social life.'
...
The US occupation defied international law by introducing laws which allowed it to privatise a great deal of public property–usually to the detriment of the occupied population.
http://zeroanthropology.net/2014/08/10/an-interview-with-iraqi-lawyer-sadiq-al-timimi-on-the-current-crisis-in-iraq/

Posted by: brian | Aug 11 2014 7:34 utc | 108

"a wiki on ISIL, which implicates the Musmlim Brotherhood...Morsis gang
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant"

Wrong. The headquarter of the MB is right now, today, in the middle of London. Officially it has been declared a "culture club" in order to keep it working, otherwise it would have been forbidden.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2538755/Egypts-Muslim-Brotherhood-open-London-office-disused-kebab-shop-Cricklewood.html
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/01/muslim-brotherhood-cricklewood-london

Again: the imperial government of her Majesty EXEMPTED them from the terror list(!) and gave them a "culture club" status(!!) just to keep them working. Subsidies via commoners' tax money included.

Seems like in the meantime the local got too pissed off, so they had to move them to Austria: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2603383/Muslim-Brotherhood-moves-headquarters-London-Austria-Cameron-announces-terror-investigation.html

So next time you go bombing terrorists, you know the right addresses - London and Graz.

You got to love the british sense of humor though:
"But this weekend, sources said it had decided to transfer its base to Graz, Austria’s second city, after David Cameron announced a joint MI5 and MI6 investigation into its membership."

Oh ok, we will all pretend like we don't know it was the MI6 that started the MB in Egypt and has been running it ever since its inception. Well documented even in regular history books. But hey, we will pretend like the MI6 is "investigating" the very own MI-6 outlet, which they exempted from all current british laws and gave them fertile ground in the middle of freakin Londonium.

Posted by: T2010 | Aug 11 2014 7:37 utc | 109

@ Demian: I read that piece and it's correct in many things. It was linked here though, I remember seeing it.

Posted by: T2010 | Aug 11 2014 8:09 utc | 111

Israel-Firsters: The Greatest Danger https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47hvENEM8yo

The Truth About The War on Syria ~ The Greater Israel Project ~ Third World War & New World Order
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frQYvcC9eBc

“The machiavelian threefold game of the neoconservatives” http://www.voltairenet.org/article178638.html

Posted by: crone | Aug 11 2014 8:10 utc | 112

The US can't both be collapsing in weakness and incompetency and cunning enough to devise all the evil in the world. Make up your mind, commenters.

Posted by: jeff | Aug 11 2014 8:32 utc | 113

"In my view the Islamic State is at its core a genocidal and extremely dangerous force that should be defeated by all means as soon as possible."

I agree.

If I was a closet anti-Semite and rabidly anti-American, my judgement might instead be clouded by fantasies that the Islamic State will march on US installations in Northern Iraq and, one day, Israel - rather than considering the actual threat that the Sunni militant group poses to the Shia Crescent. In which case I would disagree with your analysis and would want the US air force to do nothing.

Posted by: Pat Bateman | Aug 11 2014 9:03 utc | 114

MOA says:

"In my view the Islamic State is at its core a genocidal and extremely dangerous force that should be defeated by all means as soon as possible."

defeated by whom? the "genocidal and extremely dangerous force" that created IT?

+++

i think the main problem many of you have with JSorrentine is that he doesn't believe in Santa Claus any more. i mean, ISIS is what, maybe 10 thousand fighters tops? with a shitload of high quality weaponry made in the USA that sorta kinda fell right into their hands. weaponry that has to be constantly maintained and resupplied if these dudes are actually gonna 'conquer' huge swathes of land THE SIZE OF FUCKING GREAT BRITAIN!

♪♫ makin' a list ♫ checkin' it twice ♪♪♫

Posted by: john | Aug 11 2014 9:08 utc | 115

We frogs are truly hard-boiled by now ...

The war cabal in Washington


The decision to launch a new war was made by a handful of strategists of US imperialist policy within the military/intelligence apparatus, in league with the corporate and financial elite. It was made behind the backs of the American people, who have absolutely no say in the policies, including going to war, that impact their lives.

... it used to be that the citizens 'were consulted'. No longer. Not even considered.

As pointed out in another link, German commission undermines parliamentary approval requirement for military operations, the same power grab is now ongoing in the EU.

They've been inspired ? WWWI redux. WWIII here we come.

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 11 2014 10:02 utc | 116

I'm with JSorrentine. We can't discount Israel's part in the deliberate creation of this mess. Justin Raimondo at antiwar also believes that USA/Israel involvement could set off a major war in the region:

"Deepening US military involvement in Iraq has little if anything to do with the plight of the Yazidis, whose own relations with the KRG have been problematic at best: this is a "humanitarian" pretext for the hiving off of Kurdistan from Iraq and the establishment of a base friendly to the US and Israel. It is a geopolitical maneuver that augurs a much greater conflict than the one we are seeing play out in Iraq at the moment. Militant Kurdish ultra-nationalism unleashed on the Middle East will prove a scourge for the entire region, one that could end in a war involving all the major players.

"Washington and Tel Aviv are playing with fire – a fire, furthermore, that is being deliberately set. Arsonists are on the loose in the most volatile part of the world, and no one should be surprised by the subsequent conflagration."

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/08/10/iraq-why-bomb-now/

Posted by: madisolation | Aug 11 2014 11:30 utc | 117

@109

It is not so much about the people not being consulted as it is of the people not being informed of the truth. The "msm" has for a long time now been a propaganda apparatus of the govt. No longer is the msm the fourth estate...the msm is the govt's fourth branch. And all those four branches, legislative, executive, judicial and mainstream press are on the same imperialist page.

Posted by: really | Aug 11 2014 11:58 utc | 118

US starts directly arming Kurds.

Funny, a month or so ago WINEP/Israel hosted a conference at which the invited representatives of the Kurds explicity demanded that the US start sending the Kurds US weapons.

Why, here's an op-ed on WINEP/Israel's site entitled "What Iraq's Kurdish Peshmerga Really Need" from three days ago.

From the article:

Operational and intelligence support. Although ISIS practices good operational security, U.S. intelligence assets could undoubtedly help reduce the group's ability to achieve tactical surprise against the peshmerga. Washington could also provide impartial advice that might help overcome some intra-Kurdish tensions over deployments and unit integration.

Airpower. The United States can help weave together peshmerga ground forces with federal Iraqi and U.S. airpower. During the 2003 U.S. invasion, the combination of peshmerga troops and American airstrikes was devastating. One key area of U.S. coordination might be the establishment and maintenance of a Fire Support Coordination Line (FSCL), which would designate map grids in which the Iraqi air force was free to conduct bombing runs at any given time. Only the U.S. military has the experience, the surveillance capabilities, and the links in Baghdad and Erbil to maintain a system capable of minimizing friendly fire incidents. If and when Iraqi F-16s and Apache helicopters become available, Baghdad could send a welcome signal to Erbil by having their first mission be supporting Kurdish forces -- not posing a threat to them.

Logistics. The United States is well positioned to deliver stocks of Eastern Bloc ammunition and spare parts that the Kurds need to keep their Soviet-era heavy weapons in use. Sourcing these supplies through the United States rather than less scrupulous third parties might reassure Baghdad. This in turn could ease the difficulty of obtaining end-user certificates for arms delivered to the KRG.

Long-term integration of RGBs under a Ministry of Peshmerga. The United States has long backed efforts to professionalize Kurdish forces within a unified KRG ministry setting. U.S. involvement and training can help reduce the risk of future peshmerga refragmentation along party lines -- an outcome that could be highly destabilizing for the KRG. The U.S. military should also provide combined arms training and advice to ensure effective employment of armor, infantry, artillery, and air assets.

Why, it looks like someone in the WH is listening to the Israelis and their Zionist friend at WINEP, huh?

Oh well.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 11 2014 13:06 utc | 119

Adding:

The other thing the Kurds were adamant about at the WINEP conference was that there could be no going back to a unified Iraq and that a separate Kurdish state would need be a reality. Thus, the need for weapons...oh yeah and they were weally weally scared of ISIS. Guys were just pissing themselves.

Now, why would WINEP and the Israelis be so very concerned about the Kurds? Why would the US Israeli lobby - i.e., WINEP - continuously propagandize for the Kurds and offer them a platform from which to issue their demands to the US Establishment?

Obviously it's because Israel is the only democracy in the ME, right?

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 11 2014 13:15 utc | 120

Funny, I missed this one. Michael Knights the WINEP author of the piece I cited above also wrote ON THE SAME day a companion piece to his larger op-ed for the NYT - hmmm, I forget is the NYT a Zionist propaganda outlet?

Here's Mr. Knights piece in its entirety that he gave the NYT on Thursday.

The attack by ISIS on core Kurdish interests and land is a potential game changer in the fight against the terrorist group. Or, perhaps, a U.S.-Kurdish military response to the ISIS attack would be the game changer.

I have argued before that the Kurds are the key to defeating ISIS. Why? The Kurds control the only intact forces in Iraq and have a history of confronting and defeating Salafi terrorist groups in northern Iraq. Plus, the north-south road from Baghdad to ISIS's capital in Mosul is 350 miles but Mosul is only 30 miles from the Kurdistan region. The battlefield geometry practically dictates that the Kurdish region is the ideal launchpad for a war against ISIS.

While the Kurds are on the ropes after a series of vicious thrusts by ISIS, they have the fighting spirit and the determination to hold the frontier of their region. With U.S. assistance they can help Iraq decisively roll back ISIS's position in northern Iraq.

The Kurdish peshmerga are 80 percent of the way there in terms of fighting spirit, equipment and skills. If full U.S. security cooperation -- the "special sauce" of U.S. air support, logistics and coordination with the Iraqi military -- were to be rapidly extended to the Kurds, they could break ISIS's momentum and deal them a public blow between Mosul and the Syrian border. This kind of defensive action would snap the would-be ISIS caliphate in half and spark tribal uprisings against them that might drive them out of the cities and into the deserts again.

The U.S. is vital to this outcome, and this might be ISIS's Pearl Harbor moment -- the point at which an overconfident opponent goads the U.S. military into action for the good of both American interests and the world at large.

Wait a second....

Did someone just say "PEARL HARBOR FUCKING MOMENT"?!!!!!!!

Nah, that's cool. Nothing to see here. Move along.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 11 2014 13:24 utc | 121

"Our military expert" has some good points. If the Peshmergas are backed by e.g. US troops then they have a good chance of defeating/resisting IS. Assuming US & Iranian troops know what the IS's tactic is then then Maliki has a good chance of surviving. Otherwise I think Maliki is "toast".

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 11 2014 13:38 utc | 122

@114

Pearl Harbor huh? Boy the imperialists constantly sully that event to try and motivate the masses and justify their ambitions. I remember the Jackals at The Project For A New American Century talking about the need for a Pearl Harbor event to unleash calculated hell on the middle east in the years before 9/11 and invasion of Iraq.

One trick pony but they get away with it because responsible investigative main stream media is long gone.

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

Posted by: really | Aug 11 2014 13:48 utc | 123

"Our military expert" has some interesting viewpoints. Assuming the US & Iran are helping Maliki IS won't be able to take Baghdad. Assuming the Kurds don't receive help form the US or Israel means that the Kurds are going to be "toast".

When IS would attack Aleppo first, then it would give Maliki, the US & Iran more time to organize the defense of Baghdad.

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 11 2014 14:13 utc | 124

There are many ways to define "working with" and/or "supporting" -- as we see daily wrt Puting "supporting" proRussian Ukrainians, the US "supporting" Syrian rebels, and/or Iran "working with" Maliki. In the latter case, as is not uncommon, Maliki as Shiia, as properly chosen as prime minister via a "real" election, represents proper process and stability. They don't have to like him -- I'm not sure anyone likes Maliki -- he is described as being both understandably paranoid and utterly obstinate - in fact, I'm not sure I have ever heard anyone say a nice thing about him (while in contrast, Karzai is known for his charm and Allawi for his intelligence and CIA background, Chalabbi again his charm, his intelliegence and intriguing life-story).

I admit to being a bit floored that the Peshmerga claim to be in dire need of weapons ... bullets, I understand, but more guns, particularly small arms? not.so.much.

Maliki a few years back had his Sunni vice president also charged with treason, then with murder, then convicted of murder in absentia and sentenced to death. He's still alive, living in exile in Turkey, I think. This threat of arrest, charges of treason is a repeat.

Maliki only continues as prime minister -- which I believe he claims a right to because of incumbency, despite elections a few months ago -- because someone else has not been agreed upon -- the entire chosing process having been -- unsurprising really -- thwarted, not that the Iraqi government functions well on any given day or on any issue whatsoever. Despite his unpopularity, the "coalition government" (and that term must be used loosely) Maliki managed to forge in his last terms, represents a monumental achievemement in what is otherwise dysfunctional, unproductive jockeying and boycotts. He has "won" because he has actually sort-of kind-of been able -- in the past -- to get the car motor to turn over ... not because it runs or that the car actually moves.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 11 2014 14:54 utc | 125

Team Obama publically expresses confidence that -- once Maliki is gone and a more "inclusive" leader chosen -- Iraq will "come together" to fight off IS ... truly, what has that man been smoking?

"Once an inclusive government is in place, I’m confident it will be easier to mobilize all Iraqis against ISIL, and to mobilize greater support from our friends and allies. Ultimately, only Iraqis can ensure the security and stability of Iraq," Obama said from the South Lawn. "The United States can’t do it for them, but we can and will be partners in that effort."

How's "our man" in Libya faring these days? for that matter, how's Libya doing? (bad-to-worse)
I wonder who "we" have in mind to be Iraq's savior this time.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 11 2014 14:59 utc | 126

"...i think the main problem many of you have with JSorrentine is that he doesn't believe in Santa Claus any more. i mean, ISIS is what, maybe 10 thousand fighters tops? with a shitload of high quality weaponry made in the USA that sorta kinda fell right into their hands. weaponry that has to be constantly maintained and resupplied if these dudes are actually gonna 'conquer' huge swathes of land THE SIZE OF FUCKING GREAT BRITAIN ♪♫ makin' a list ♫ checkin' it twice ♪♪♫ "

Posted by: john | Aug 11, 2014 5:08:35 AM | 108

...Assistant Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Nadia Moore told Magistrate Ramon Reyes that Morgan, who also goes by Abu Omar al Amreek, could possibly traffic in guns to ISIS Morgan's tweets suggested he may have been preparing for jihad -- possibly even in the U.S., law enforcement officials said.

Federal defender Peter Kirchheimer said there was no evidence Morgan is a member of ISIS or had provided material support.

But the judge ruled the tweets had "clearly implied to me that he is trying to go to Syria or Iraq as the next step and trying to be actively engaged," the Daily News reported."

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/08/11/kennedy-airport-arrest/13889915/

Oh lookie here. Santa just dropped some bullshit down the msm's chimney. I just know the msm can't wait to spin this new propaganda toy.

Posted by: really | Aug 11 2014 15:06 utc | 127

Hey, world, here is your next fucking war criminal scum leader of Merka. Killary speaks.

Fun game: see if you can read the entire piece without laughing/vomitting/crying. I pissed myself twice...wait...three time.

The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said.

When I asked her about the intense international focus on Gaza, she was quick to identify anti-Semitism as an important motivating factor in criticism of Israel. “It is striking … that you have more than 170,000 people dead in Syria. … You have Russia massing battalions—Russia, that actually annexed and is occupying part of a UN member-state—and I fear that it will do even more to prevent the incremental success of the Ukrainian government to take back its own territory, other than Crimea. More than 1,000 people have been killed in Ukraine on both sides, not counting the [Malaysia Airlines] plane, and yet we do see this enormous international reaction against Israel, and Israel’s right to defend itself, and the way Israel has to defend itself. This reaction is uncalled for and unfair.”

She went on, “You can’t ever discount anti-Semitism, especially with what’s going on in Europe today. There are more demonstrations against Israel by an exponential amount than there are against Russia seizing part of Ukraine and shooting down a civilian airliner. So there’s something else at work here than what you see on TV.” Clinton also blamed Hamas for “stage-managing” the conflict. “What you see is largely what Hamas invites and permits Western journalists to report on from Gaza. It’s the old PR problem that Israel has. Yes, there are substantive, deep levels of antagonism or anti-Semitism towards Israel, because it’s a powerful state, a really effective military. And Hamas paints itself as the defender of the rights of the Palestinians to have their own state. So the PR battle is one that is historically tilted against Israel.”

Clinton also seemed to take an indirect shot at administration critics of Netanyahu, who has argued that the rise of Muslim fundamentalism in the Middle East means that Israel cannot, in the foreseeable future, withdraw its forces from much of the West Bank. “If I were the prime minister of Israel, you’re damn right I would expect to have control over security, because even if I’m dealing with [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas, who is 79 years old, and other members of Fatah, who are enjoying a better lifestyle and making money on all kinds of things, that does not protect Israel from the influx of Hamas or cross-border attacks from anywhere else. With Syria and Iraq, it is all one big threat. So Netanyahu could not do this in good conscience.

Nah, things can only get better. Good times, good times.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 11 2014 15:11 utc | 128

yes, this is an evolving civil rights problem for many Americans who are being considered possible traitors and/or terrorists for taking the "wrong" side in foreign conflicts, often involving the countries they (or their previous generation) fled from secondary to persecution for political and/or religious issues. It's disturbing in and of itself, but also as a slippery slope for "the rest of us" as tweets are considered "as evidence" of intent to commit crimes (inciting violence, perhaps) outside of context, consideration of any actual audience, or any preparations to do so. And again, the Muslim community is being subjected to punitive scrutiny, as happened wrt Muslim charities after 09/11.

Is it currently illegal to travel to Iraq or Syria? or only if you're Muslim and failed to pass the right-thinking-loyalty test?

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 11 2014 15:15 utc | 129

@118 "I admit to being a bit floored that the Peshmerga claim to be in dire need of weapons ... bullets, I understand, but more guns, particularly small arms? not.so.much."

Hey it's a start. Give it time and the Kurds will have something like Camp Bondsteel.

Posted by: dh | Aug 11 2014 15:16 utc | 130

@120

Wow, funny that should have happened THE MORNING AFTER US Senator Lindsey "Doily-Pants" Graham went on the Sunday talk shows and said this:

“I think of an American city in flames because of the terrorists’ ability to operate in Syria and Iraq,” Graham told Fox News host Chris Wallace. “Mr. President, you have never once spoke directly to the America people about the threat we face from being attacked from Syria, now Iraq. What is your strategy to stop these people from attacking the homeland?”

The senior senator from South Carolina recommended a “sustained air campaign in Syria and Iraq.”

“Are you saying we should go back to war in Iraq?” Wallace wondered.

“I’m saying that Iraq and Syria combined represent a direct threat to our homeland,” he explained. “His responsibility as president is to defend this nation. If he does not go on the offensive against ISIS, ISIL — whatever you want to call these guys — they are coming here!”

“It is about our homeland, and if we get attacked because he has no strategy to protect us then he will have committed a blunder for the ages.”

Does Vegas make odds for where the next flag will be? While the Merkan "homeland" would really boost the ratings of a few flagging network TV shows, I'm thinking that Israel might actually have to bite the bullet at some point to keep things "real" - nudge, wink.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 11 2014 15:18 utc | 131

@124

No wonder the msm did not report this until a week after the "arrest". He was arrested on Aug. 2, 2014. "Doily-pants" had to get his 'protect the homeland' sound bite just perfect for the msm to cut and brow beat the american public with...over and over...

Posted by: really | Aug 11 2014 15:38 utc | 132

Sussinct explanation of Iraq's nominating the prime minister crisis

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2014/08/11/maliki_replacement_prime_minister_insists_on_right_to_remain_in_office.html

In Iraq's government the prime minister is the head of state, but must be nominated for leadership after national elections by the country's president; current president Fouad Massoum has decided to nominate Haider al-Abadi (who, like Maliki, is a Shiite), but the incumbent prime minister insists that he has a right to a third term.

At issue, apparently, is the question of which parliamentary delegation counts as the country's largest—Maliki's particular Shiite group or a broader Shiite alliance. Iraq's highest court has weighed in on the question.

The court seems to have weighed in that Maliki's party get the nod over the boarder Shiite coalition ... so stay tuned ..

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 11 2014 15:38 utc | 133

46;Holy moly,as 51 says who gave them the weapons?Heretical Christians are the worst warmongers in world history.
Wouldn't the evidence be;don't f*ck with societies you no nothing,and care nothing about,as this is what you reap.
And b;Trusting screw ups to do anything right,is an exercise in futility.
Do you really fear this Islamic Caliphate?Who the hell cares,it aint Germany,it aint America,and is all the result of our meddling in the first place.Meddle more?All this anger by Islamics will dissipate quickly if we let these people self determine,and make the Zionists and our own military act human instead of monsters.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 11 2014 15:47 utc | 134

7 Year Old Son of ISIS Rebel Poses for Picture Holding Head of Decapitated Syrian Solider.

Man, this shit is bringing back all of those great memories of other "beheadings" from the beginning of the GWOT and used in the media to "get our war on" such as that of Zionist intelligence asset Nick Berg - whose email if you remember just somehow ended up being used by Zacarias Moussaoui b/c Nick met one of Moussaoui's friend on a bus in the middle of Oklahoma (seriously) - and Mossad Agent Daniel Pearl - who if you also remember as an Israeli citizen reporter thought it would be a great idea to track down the connections between the "shoe bomber" - please hold your laughter till the end - Richard Reid and Al-CIAda in Pakistan only to be captured and "beheaded" by fucking Khalid Sheikh Mohammed himself who confessed to the crime (after being tortured, natch).

Yup, here we go again.

I know that I can sound screechy but when I see the EXACT SAME propaganda tactics/narratives being rolled out for another generation of American/Western cannon fodder - because that's what's happening - it pisses me fucking off.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 11 2014 15:51 utc | 135

@018 john.

jsore doesn't believe in santa claus.. i suppose you think most everyone else here does? get real.. the problem with jsore is more nuanced then that.. it goes along the lines that he thinks everyone else here except himself is missing the ongoing punch line and that he has to curse us into seeing just how dumb we are and how bright he is.. folks get tired of that kind of crap.. it has nothing to do with believing in santa claus.. i would be happy if jsore just stated his piece as opposed to the constant talking down to others here.

Posted by: james | Aug 11 2014 15:51 utc | 136

Jsorre and others seem to have hit the nail on the head regarding the ISIS/KRG conspiracy. The entire attack on the Peshmerga seems likely to be a head fake, where the Peshies deliberately withdrew to make the ISIS seem all big and bad. The US airstrikes were meant to give ISIS street cred, that they really are fighting US imperialism. Without it, more people would eventually figure out they were nothing but a CIA/Mossad front. We also are taking the US's word for it that they actually struck ISIS and not just the open desert or just some poor schmoes who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

At any rate, we will find out the truth in the next few days or weeks. If ISIS truly redoubles its efforts to fight the KRG, I'm prepared to admit I'm wrong. If they simply bust out towards Shiite Iraq or to Allepo, with the whole battle against Kurdistan and the poor Yazidis totally forgotten, I would say its time for the believers in "ISIS is blowback and the US is seriously upset by it" to man up and do the same.

Posted by: Lysander | Aug 11 2014 15:54 utc | 137

@Susan Sunflower | 119

Team Obama publically expresses confidence that -- once Maliki is gone and a more "inclusive" leader chosen -- Iraq will "come together" to fight off IS ... truly, what has that man been smoking?

Obama clearly stated - if US puppet is installed in Iraq, they'll call off the dogs (rats?). Same deal was offered to Ghadaffi and Assad, since they naturally refused, rats destroyed their respective countries. Its always the same with US, "our way, or your way to six feet under."

Posted by: Harry | Aug 11 2014 15:56 utc | 138

94;If the Kurds can fight so well,how come there has never been a Kurdistan?They kicked Saddams ass?
Sahal-adin is d-e-d-dead.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 11 2014 16:13 utc | 139

@130

Well if the isis attack on the kurds is a head fake, who is to say that heavier weapons supplied the the kurds would not fall into the hands of isis, this could be an end around way of the west resupplying isis. Remember isis are hyped to be extrememly good fighters, so it is not out of the realm of possibility that they "win" a battle or two against the kurds.

Posted by: really | Aug 11 2014 16:14 utc | 140

I.don't.think.so. The Kurds are long-standing "friendlies" with, what I recall as, strong congressional support (again, going back decades, well before Gulf War I, as Saddam's victims). They have a long history of being friendly/cooperative with Israeli intelligence.

The few airstrike targets that have been mentioned have been heavy artillery -- which I would guess is of recent local acquisition. Scary that we're supplying ManPads to the Kurds -- I doubt Iran will be happy to have their aircraft placed in danger. There's interesting words used in the report that "The cia is supplying the Kurds directly" flying weapons in. What does this mean? I thought we had long been arming the Kurds and -0- we have and have had a large American Contingent in Kurdistan and I suspect our Baghdad Embassy functions as an armory. There was talk about removing personnel from said Embassy a few days ago, but no follow up I can find.
Claiming that Syria/Iraq/IS represents an existential threat is usually an attempt to claim expansion under AUMF, etc.
Aside from the fact that I though we were ALREADY arming the Kurds, when does Congress get consulted? (not that I expect them to defy the president in this one -- unlike Syria -- because of Kurds and IS and a more successful PR campaign -- oh and those 200 Yazidi women enlsaved by IS -- what's the hashtag?

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 11 2014 16:28 utc | 141

to add -- which is not to say that the Kurds would not be willing to play whatever role asked of them to garner support for American intervention ... and yes, I do think that's a possibility -- particularly given how quickly they got those Yazidi's off that mountain ... am wondering about the other 10-30,000 who did not make the great escape on Saturday and all those starving, dehydrated children ... I'm afraid, I must ask that someone "show me the bodies" because, no, I don't trust anyone when atrocities and war crimes are claimed ... and I'm still skeptical that a fighting force would take 200 women as "slaves" (who need to be fed and provisioned for, etc.), particularly unclean women infidels ... keep me posted.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 11 2014 16:34 utc | 142

Here's Patrick "Gatekeeper" Cockburn writing again today about ISIS.

Btw, all of his articles on ISIS are excerpts from his new book "The Jihadis Return: ISIS and the New Sunni Uprising" which I'm sure will be hailed by "progressives" everywhere as THE DEFINITIVE "explanation" of how the whole ISIS narrative/phenomenon happened.

Let's see what PC has to tell us today. Note: I'm counting on there being a lot of "coincidence" and "incompetence" in his take on things:

The battle lines may continue to change, but the overall expansion of their power appears permanent. With their swift and multi-pronged assault across central and northern Iraq in June 2014, the Isis militants had superceded al-Qa’ida as the most powerful and effective jihadi group in the world.

These developments came as a shock to many in the West, including politicians and specialists whose view of what was happening often seemed outpaced by events. One reason for this was that it was too risky for journalists and outside observers to visit the areas where Isis was operating because of the extreme danger of being kidnapped or murdered. “Those who used to protect the foreign media can no longer protect themselves,” one intrepid correspondent told me, explaining why he would not be returning to rebel-held Syria.

The triumph of Isis in Iraq in 2013-14 came as a particular surprise because the western media had largely stopped reporting the country. This lack of coverage had been convenient for the US and other Western governments because it enabled them to play down the extent to which “the war on terror” had failed so catastrophically in the years since 9/11.

Note: the Kurdish representatives at WINEP also - like PC above - said months ago that the new Islamic State was just here to stay forever. There was just no sense/use in even trying to dislodge them. Do I sense an Establishment narrative begin spun?

To review: "shock" "surprise" "failure", yup, no one could have known what was going on while we were training/arming ISIS, when ISIS were tooling around the ME in their caravan, when they were selling oil and stolen artifacts - again, we never hear who is on the other side of these transactions - and doing all this with brand new US/Western weaponry.

And people think that the American war criminals are being coy about their satellite data vis a vis MH17?

Well, how about the data from the innumerable satellites etc that they have stationed over the ME?

Nope, didn't see a freaking thing and - coincidence - there were just no Western reporters to document the rise of ISIS which, btw, is kind of funny seeing that how after about - oh, I don't know - 24 hours of ISIS first splashing across the pages of the NYT etc, every Establishment journo just KNEW who the ISIS leader was, its history as an organization, how well-organized they were, how they funded their operations, how they had robbed banks, how they published quarterly reports concerning their activities/finances and on and on and on.

Nope, the journalists missed the scoop because they were scared off by ISIS but then - voila! - they immediately came back with shitloads of detailed information for their bureau chiefs, huh?

All seems on the up and up to me.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 11 2014 16:55 utc | 143

Also, in Counterpunch, Shamus Cooke puts his massive cognitive dissonance on display with this piece How ISIS Finally Became Obama’s Enemy as he first argues that Obama et al were incompetent in allowing ISIS to rise/spread but then half-way through the piece he switches over to the POV that ISIS was intentionally created/fostered by the West - again no mention of Israel concerning ISIS - to further Joe Biden's Iraq partition plan which we all know is really just the warmed over Israeli Yinon Plan and Clean Break strategies.

Again, no matter what, the "breaks" always seem to go TPTB's way but I guess it is still considered "rash" for an observer of geopolitical events - after the umpteenth time - to assume from the get-go that narratives that even have the faintest whiff of nonsense are most likely nonsense through and through;flimsy veneers hiding the further war criminal machinations of our overlords.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 11 2014 17:18 utc | 144

"...From the area controlled by ISIL, the oil is taken by smugglers in 160- barrel tanker trucks to Kurdistan, where it is refined in plants in Sulaimaniya and sold on from there. Kurdish authorities have begun to arrest drivers carrying the smuggled oil but, with global prices at about $108 a barrel, there is an ample selling margin to incentivize people all along the route to go along."
http://qz.com/232745/isil-isis-lucrative-new-business-line-in-iraq-oil-smuggling/

You know smothing is not right when Isis is no

Posted by: really | Aug 11 2014 17:24 utc | 145

ISIS has been able to ‘take over’ so much territory because of a void.

In places where the ‘State’, the ‘Governement’, the built-up institutions (justice for ex.), and long standing economic ties (stretching to local trade), functioning infrastructure, OK relations between neighboring ppls (countries, towns, territories) are broken or utterly destroyed, it is easy to sweep in and declare supremacy, domination, control.

ISIS uses targetted killing, intimidation, attempted or real genocide, and a ‘superior’, all-encompassing ideology - under an ostensibly religious banner. Imho that is total fakery, but who am I. Coupled with the ‘modernity’ of you-tube, gift shops, managing money, accepted mafia-type moves, some arms to intimidate, blackmail, extortion, etc. Kinda a trad colonialism model with modern frills.

It takes on board the clash of civilization scenario for its own benefit.

That says nothing about its military strength or plans. Except, perhaps, that it will prefer isolated / easy / marginal / targets and possibly calculated losses and failures, or double-pronged efforts, the struggle is not just guns on the ground, determined total dominance (which can’t be achieved) but ideology, adherence, social moves, etc.

So, Aleppo over Bagdhad.

Bagdhad though is enormous, not one solid entity, already split up into quarters, impossible to judge from outside.

Imagine the trucks with loudspeakers at home, not an ice-cream truck ding-trill-trill-ding-joy, but a blaring hooting siren.

We are here to help! We will restore order! We will subjugate enemies, the despicable infidels! etc.

Infidels not religiously defined but presented as potential threats to the ppl… and the PTB.

(I agree with Sorrentine about Cockburn. Trivia: Counterpunch banned Orwell, as an agreed-on policy, from their 100 best books in Eng. list.)

Posted by: Noirette | Aug 11 2014 17:29 utc | 146

@138

Continuing....

I wanted to say you know something is not right when isis is not only smuggling oil through kurdistan but they are refining it in kurdistan. Doesn't the US have "people" in kurdistan...Yeah I know people are maybe on the take but dayum is everyone on the take? I dunno....

Posted by: really | Aug 11 2014 17:29 utc | 147

Stop selling disinfo. They are heretics made and handled by the brits and their vassals and they are killing muslims more than anyone else.
That they say they're muslims, that means nothing. It is a lie, plain and simple.
Posted by: T2010 | Aug 11, 2014 3:24:24 AM | 99

We wish we made them. We wish we controlled them. This is a fantasy hard reds tells themselves to maintain anti colonialist narratives and third world solidarity while mind editing out all the fascist black in the flags and the actions of their "allies" in the struggle.
Does anyone doubt for a minute that what ISIS is doing is any different from the terror the armies of the "righteous" caliphs visited on the peoples of Babylon, Persia, and Greco Roman Palestine and Egypt? Islam is a not a religion it is a totalitarian political movement that expands through armed coercion, extortion, genocide and social espionage control.
Islam is the UR tyranny our understanding of the word comes from

Posted by: Northern Observer | Aug 11 2014 17:30 utc | 148

Given how little unity there seems to be in the American foreign policy and intelligence camp, it may well be "all of the above."

An alternative, and I think more "organic" explanation is that ISIS is largely the Sunni "baatthist dead-enders" we so feared 10 years ago, but they've cleaned up nicely and, with the Saudi's blessing and support, represent now a credible alternative to Maliki and his highway to hell (and Iran). We do not need to worry about ISIS getting in bed with Teheran or suddenly supporting Assad or giving up.

By this explanation, "ISIS" didn't "suddenly appear" -- it was there all along (think "sleeper cells"). Thousands of Sunni Iraqis reportedly went to Syria to support the "rebels" and came back as "ISIS" ... with their war making skills refreshed with a new "band of brothers" battle-hardened unity created.

I'm not sure what our relationship with the Saudi's is at this point or exactly what their Post-Bandar strategies/objectives might be -- y'know besides destroying Iran and ousting Assad. I'm not sure if Riayadh's best friend continues to be John McCain in this post-Bandar era or if he's been replaced, much less by whom.

We never "stay mad" at Riyadh for long, and rarely even express disapproval, and god knows the KSA ain't talking.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 11 2014 17:32 utc | 149

First rule of strategy is: keep 'em guessing. If ISIS is as good militarily as they've given every evidence of being, they will attack where nobody expects.

Posted by: lysias | Aug 11 2014 18:24 utc | 150

Noirette @146 Counterpunch "banned Orwell" because Alex Cockburn regarded him as a traitor who had cooperated with
the British Security Service and denounced Communists who were then blacklisted. One of them was Claud Cockburn'
his father, who was exiled to Ireland in consequence. Isn't that understandable?
Incidentally Sorrentine is wrong about Cockburn whom, I suspect, he dislikes because of his cynicism about
9/11 being a false flag op. Maybe that, too, is understandable. But just as Orwell was a gifted critic and a
great journalist and wrote one novel at least as good as half of the rubbish on the CP list, so is Cockburn
the most reliable anglophone reporter on the ground in the middle east that there is. So it is as foolish to
dismiss his reports as it would be to regard them as gospel truths.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 11 2014 18:31 utc | 151

ISIS has been able to ‘take over’ so much territory because of a void.

The Arabs were able to expand so quickly and to conquer the Sassanid Persian Empire and the southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire in the seventh century because Persia and Byzantium had exhausted themselves fighting a long war against each other.

Posted by: lysias | Aug 11 2014 18:31 utc | 152

I don't think ISIS or IS - whatever - is composed of Muslims... It is perhaps made up of mercs and Salafi-Takfiris. and jihadists who join along the way... One purpose it fulfills is to target Muslims as the 'evil ones' --- we don't know what the composition is, we only know what they are called.

We know nothing about them... and that is what Mossad/CIA/M16 wants...

The world is being 'played' ~ AGAIN!!!

Posted by: crone | Aug 11 2014 18:34 utc | 153

The US has been protecting the Kurdish region for a quarter of a century- that was one of the justifications
of the No Fly zone maintained after the first Gulf War. So there is nothing new about it.
And they have been protecting the Kurds from an Iraqi government which, historically, has been dominated by sunni
muslims ready, when asked, as they were by Reagan, to fight the Iranians. Subsidised by the Saudis, who didn’t always
pay their bills, Saddam’s army attacked Iran on behalf of the United States, the Gulf-Saudi axis and, yes, Israel
which was very happy not only to see Iran attacked but Iraq, equally pinned down, carrying out the attack.
It fitted perfectly into the divide and rule scenarios that suited the imperialists.
Now ISIS is playing the role that Saddam played then and, very possibly, in the future, like Saddam
it may not do exactly what US imperialism wants it to do. In the meantime, however it is recreating
the shia/sunni internecine conflict of the Iraq Iran war. And, while it is doing so, the Kurds,
protected by the US and assisted also by, that US creature, Israel will further consolidate the
de facto state that they have been building since the late 1980s.
Everything that is taking place has been well telegraphed: the project of breaking up Iraq into
two parts, Kurdistan and the area to be fought over by the sunni and shia Arabs, is an old one.
Sometimes it is described as being a plan to create three states, and this may be the end result
but it is just as likely that the sunnis, when they reach their limits, will concentrate on creating
a new state including much of Syria and Jordan, while the shia will slip into to a federation with Iran.
The US is definitely behind ISIS and its policies have led to its arming and its empowerment.
One notable fact to take into account is that there is already at least one state in the region
which is ruled in the name of wild eyed wahhabi fanatics preaching death to heretics and, in effect,
all non-wahhabis. And that is Saudi Arabia which has never had much of a problem in maintaining
friendly relations with the US. Those who see ISIS as being very different and new, a political
riddle motivated by irrationality, might want to consider that. As to the other components of ISIS’s
forces, the former baathist military men, and the sunni tribal leaders, there is no reason to suppose
that they will have any problem in working within the wahhabi structure which, essentially, demands of
the population nothing more than lip service and submission to monarchical authority and religious norms.
And gives local chiefs complete power over their fiefdoms.
To see ISIS as an Israeli creation is to misunderstand the nature of Israel’s very tenuous position in the
region. Its power, notwithstanding its nuclear claims, is entirely dependent upon US support which, in turn,
depends upon Israel’s continued willingness to maintain itself in an attitude of perpetual war with its
neighbours as the Empire’s primary garrison and attack dog. Those who argue that the region is continually
at war, despite US wishes and because of Israeli (biblically based) expansionist dreams, are dead wrong.
Israel is at war not in spite of US wishes for peace (surely the emptiness of the Peace Process is by now
understood?) but because the US fears peace and, to maintain its interests (those of its corporations),
employs Israel to keep the region boiling, with strife between countries and communities. Israel is there
to prevent Arab Nationalism from taking a state form. The US has taken over the role that Britain and France
played from Sykes Picot to Israel’s attack on Suez in 1956.

It is a matter of enormous interest that so many people, in the face common sense and evidence, persist in the
belief that the tiny fraction of the population which practises Judaism or identifies with its culture
not only dominates the United States but virtually rules the world. It is a world view which is extremely convenient
for the imperialists who are from all religions and none and depend on false consciousness as man does on oxygen.

Posted by: bevin | Aug 11 2014 18:40 utc | 154

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/

Fyi the site is up and running again.

Posted by: really | Aug 11 2014 18:48 utc | 155

@ 154

Notice you have not sites in that screed... here's a long 'study' of the situation with lots of sites

“The machiavelian threefold game of the neoconservatives”

http://www.voltairenet.org/article178638.html

Posted by: crone | Aug 11 2014 18:52 utc | 156

having a senior moment... meant cites - not sites at 156... also meant no - instead of not

Posted by: crone | Aug 11 2014 18:53 utc | 157

I suspect that the "mystery" about ISIS is being fostered to conceal Saudi roots and bloodlines -- of course (don't be silly) not Saudi "official policy" (whatever that is, but never that) ... McCain says we need to bomb Syria (so what else is new) but mostly he says Obama is weak, and effectual and his grandma wears army boots -- mostly the republicans appear to be safely "demanding" things they know will never be done -- including boots on the ground.
The big meme chorus is claiming that if you oppose bombing, you must oppose humanitarian aid and preventing "genocide" ... so what else is new. Like the Ukrainian black boxes, now that they've been "rescued" I expect the Yazidi to fade from view (wag the dog anyone?) even though more than considerably more than half are still in peril (see Human Rights Watch over at Juan Cole -- 150,000 souls)\

Many more Yezidis – upwards of 150,000– fled Sunday morning from Sinjar and surrounding villages into rugged mountains a dozen or so kilometers to the north. There, they found few means of sustenance or even shelter amid the mountains’ sparse vegetation – no water to speak of, and little by way of shelter from summer temperatures that can soar to 120 Fahrenheit. Perhaps as many as 40,000 managed to descend on the northern side and make their escape that same day, before ISIS surrounded the mountains.

Stay tuned for updates on that 500 person massacre, the 200 (and growing) number of women abducted as slaves, etc.
The Yazidis who were able to get out fled into Syria -- stay tuned for more on that story. Bottom line -- most of the Yazidi's have not been "rescued" yet and supplies being delivered to the mountain are vastly inadequate (see Business Insider).

from a harrowing account Business Insider which concludes:

The situation in Sinjar has irreparably damaged the notion of home for the Yazidis. For a large portion of them, the unique culture of the area will never return, and they will therefore have nothing to go back for.

“We can’t go back to Sinjar mountain because Sinjar is surrounded by Arabs,” said Aydo Khudida Qasim, 34, who said that Sunni Arab villagers around Sinjar helped Islamic State take the area. Now he as well as many of his friends and relatives want to get out of Iraq altogether. “We want to be refugees in other countries, not our own,” he said.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-crisis-of-iraqi-yezidis-fleeing-isis-is-even-worse-then-we-thought-2014-8#ixzz3A6xnt0IP

Apologies, but I really really hate feeling as cynical as I do wrt to this crisis

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 11 2014 18:58 utc | 158

SS: "An alternative, and I think more "organic" explanation is that ISIS is largely the Sunni "baatthist dead-enders" we so feared 10 years ago, but they've cleaned up nicely and, with the Saudi's blessing and support, represent now a credible alternative to Maliki and his highway to hell (and Iran). We do not need to worry about ISIS getting in bed with Teheran or suddenly supporting Assad or giving up.

By this explanation, "ISIS" didn't "suddenly appear" -- it was there all along (think "sleeper cells"). Thousands of Sunni Iraqis reportedly went to Syria to support the "rebels" and came back as "ISIS" ... with their war making skills refreshed with a new "band of brothers" battle-hardened unity created. "

------

Some of the strange critters that post here will of course insist on just keeping blathering on and on with the same old discredited MSM drivel, no matter what.

At this stage you really have to wonder do they have severe attention-span issues or nothing but air in their heads

This time in chronological order:

From 2007 - U.S. military says: ISIS Leader a myth

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A senior operative for al Qaeda in Iraq who was caught this month has told his U.S. military interrogators a prominent al Qaeda-led group is just a front and its leader fictitious, a military spokesman said on Wednesday.

Brigadier-General Kevin Bergner told a news conference that Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of the self-styled Islamic State of Iraq, which was purportedly set up last year, did not exist.

The Islamic State of Iraq was established to try to put an Iraqi face on what is a foreign-driven network, Bergner said. The name Baghdadi means the person hails from the Iraqi capital.

Bergner said the information came from an operative called Khalid al-Mashadani who was caught on July 4 and who he said was an intermediary to Osama bin Laden.

He said Mashadani was believed to be the most senior Iraqi in the Sunni Islamist al Qaeda in Iraq network.

"In his words, the Islamic State of Iraq is a front organization that masks the foreign influence and leadership within al Qaeda in Iraq in an attempt to put an Iraqi face on the leadership of al Qaeda in Iraq," Bergner said.

John McCain:

McCain said he would favor sending combat air controllers into Iraq to help identify targets for airstrikes. . . . . . he believed the airstrikes must extend into ISIS-controlled territory in Syria.

[Video] John McCain Photographed Chilling With ISIS Leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi

    The last photo is courtesy of our own CNN, who photographed the man talking to John McCain face to face.

===========

Posted by: Chortle | Aug 11 2014 19:20 utc | 159

So, "common sense" tells us that instead of the US Establishment actually being in the thrall of Zionism/Israel what we are really witnessing in America is a massive psychological operation on the part of EVERY SINGLE PERSON in the US Establishment - politician, celebrity, MSM employee, all of them - which seeks to paint the exact OPPOSITE picture from what is really happening, right?

That every genuflection before Israel, every vote for Israel, every op-ed for Israel, every covering up of war crimes for Israel, every censoring of criticism of Israel and on and on and on for DECADES...ALL OF THIS obsequiousness, ALL of the servility is really NOT what it objectively appears to be - i.e., US subservience to Zionism/Israel - rather every last action/word is a part of an unspoken CHARADE that EVERY ONE in the US Establishment has agreed to in order to hide/obscure US dominance OVER Israel.

This is what you are trying to tell us.

To theses analysts it is a "conspiracy theory" to look at the manifold and decades-long subservience of US to Israel/Zionism and state that, yes, the US looks to be subservient to Israel while it is "common sense" to look at self-same subservience and declare, no, what's really happening is that every single person in the US Establishment is play-acting in some vast game of make-believe so that....yes, so that what?

What is the reasoning behind this "Grand Charade" that the US Establishment plays to whenever Israel comes up?

I mean, throughout its hegemonic career the US has had ZERO QUALMS about publicly treating like fucking dirt those nations that serve it and call it master, why would they feel the need to carry on this elaborate and unspoken game of play-acting just to make it APPEAR that Israel not only is not regarded as a pissant minion nation but that it actually runs the place?

Did the US do that with Nicaragua? El Salvador? Any country in South/Central America? Europe? Asia? Africa? No.

Has the US ever had to apologize and hide the fact that it uses/exploits other nations as forward operating bases? No? Then why do they have to do so in just this one case of Israel?

Then what's the reason for the charade? To woo the miniscule domestic American Jewish voting block? Because they're really scared of the Christian Zionist voters? In a country where every one with two brain cells understands that voting/the electoral process is a sham? Maybe it's just to just piss off all the Muslims worldwide?

What's the point of this massive charade that's been going on for decades?

When we've had report after report and now book after book written about how US politicians, celebrities and media-persons have been explicitly and implicitly THREATENED if they don't hew to the narrative line regarding Israel, I'm supposed to NOT understand ANY of that objectively but rather take these accounts of Zionist intimidation as the musings of pathological liars and/or play-actors? Really.

And I, JSorrentine, am supposed to be the non-sensical conspiracist, huh?

And this idea of the decades-long US "Grand Charade" with regard to Israel coming from the very same people who on every other topic - e.g., Ukraine, Syria, etc - believe that TPTB are too "incompetent" to be able to actuate and sustain even the simplest of secret strategies and designs?!!!

Wow.

Posted by: JSorrentine | Aug 11 2014 19:33 utc | 160

@160

Well said Jsore.

Posted by: really | Aug 11 2014 19:45 utc | 161

Lysander @ 137 you nailed it so beautifully!

So much so that I just want to repeat what you have stated, because it is so perfect :)

"Jsorre and others seem to have hit the nail on the head regarding the ISIS/KRG conspiracy. The entire attack on the Peshmerga seems likely to be a head fake, where the Peshies deliberately withdrew to make the ISIS seem all big and bad. The US airstrikes were meant to give ISIS street cred, that they really are fighting US imperialism. Without it, more people would eventually figure out they were nothing but a CIA/Mossad front. We also are taking the US's word for it that they actually struck ISIS and not just the open desert or just some poor schmoes who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

At any rate, we will find out the truth in the next few days or weeks. If ISIS truly redoubles its efforts to fight the KRG, I'm prepared to admit I'm wrong. If they simply bust out towards Shiite Iraq or to Allepo, with the whole battle against Kurdistan and the poor Yazidis totally forgotten, I would say its time for the believers in "ISIS is blowback and the US is seriously upset by it" to man up and do the same."

The entire attack was a non attack- this is made for media prime time drama. This is spin. This is PR. Doncha love it!
Can you hear the vacuum? Can you feel the power of that cyclonic suction.
It's suckin' the gullible masses in
We need war. We need more war. We need lots of war
We need killing and we need to do it all to save a few people- flavour of the day...

The US was clearing embassies a month ago
The US was expanding air and drone capabilities months ago
It's all a coincidence
It's all blowback

No. it's not. it's all a plan

Posted by: Penny | Aug 11 2014 19:50 utc | 162

@ 160

ditto...

Posted by: crone | Aug 11 2014 19:56 utc | 163

ISIS is heading for Syria- the spin is already beginning.
The US has already made abundantly clear they aren't going to work with Assad to fight terror and why would they?!

I will be posting more on this at my place But,goodness gracious that much is obvious. If the US can overthrow the elected government of Iraq of Maliki they shouldn't have to work to hard to destroy Iraq completely. I mean 'bring in democracy'
sorry-

If the US can't get the regime change they have been working on and pushing for for months in Iraq, then they will bomb the crap out of Iraq too, but not Kurdistan.

The Pesh army has been embedded with the US/Israeli armies for years and years now

Posted by: Penny | Aug 11 2014 20:00 utc | 164

It appears that 7 years (2007) ago they thought Baghdadi was a fictional because of his last name which was believed to be "pandering" to Baghdad sympathizers. How conveeeenient, you say your name is Baghadi .... and
they had never heard of him ... The New York Time (yes I know) has a long piece on him and his slow rise to prominence since his arrest in Fallujah in 2004.

NYT: U.S. Actions in Iraq Fueled Rise of a Rebel.

We've never been very good at identifying what's what or who's who in Iraq. I remember when we (finally) killed Abu Abu Musab al-Zarqaw (killed in Fallujah, also in 2004) and expected that to be significant ... but the lull in car bombings which he was believed to "mastermind" was short lived.

Whatever. Read it or don't.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 11 2014 20:43 utc | 165

@JSorrentine

Your right on the money re ISIS sir. Plus, also about
gatekeeper Cockburn. And about Bevin, buhahahha
Dr.Paul Craig Roberts has stated that certain 'alternative'
media will run his pieces, Counterpunch being one of them,
but NOT the oneS in which he mentions the ABSURD official
9/11 story. In one article he explained why the official story
was defended by different ideological groups(left, right) for
their own reasons. The truth be damned.
Bevin is typical in trying to play down jewish power and influence..
As in when he dared to tell us not long ago that many other
groups had as much or more power in western media than the jews.
I could easily demonstrate that to be FALSE.

Posted by: Luca K | Aug 11 2014 20:44 utc | 166

B wrote:
"Colonel Pat Lang remarks:
Today I am told that DoD has decided that the IS force is the
most capable non-Israeli army in the ME. pl"

Hmmm... what utter nonsense. For one thing the israeli army is
HIGHLY overrated. They were defeated by circa 3/5000 Hezb militiamen
in 2006, which did not even call its reserves and kept its
most elite fighters for a decisive battle along the Litani.
Which never took place because the israeli pussies were beaten
by Hezb's first line of defense. So despite huge numerical superiority,
air supremacy, huge firepower advantage the israeli baby killers had
their heads handed to them.
The ME generally includes countries such as Iran, Turkey and Egypt.
So we are supposed to believe ISIS is militarily stronger than all
these regional powers... sure, sure..
Actually, Hezbollah is much more professional than ISIS.
In an exagerated way, Israeli general and war criminal,
Benny Gantz, said:
"Bring me four or five states that have more firepower than
Hezbollah: Russia, China, Israel, France, and England,”
he told Israel’s annual security-oriented Herzliya Conference.'

Note: 'Israel: Hezbollah is now stronger than any Arab army'
on CSMONITOR.

B
"Magnier suggests that the Islamic State will run a spectacular
attack on Aleppo and will probably capture the city.
He is right to believe that - should the Islamic State use its
full force - the weakened Syrian army will have little chance
to hold this important city."

I think mr.b is really blowing ISIS completely out of proportion.
Syrian sources state that the Syrian army has been advancing in Aleppo
and that is has more troops there than before.
I bet mr.B that if ISIS attacks in Aleppo it will be defeated.
Lets wait and see who is correct.
ISIS 'victories' seem to be more propaganda than reality or at
least highly exagerated. Their greatest 'victories' were against
iraqi troops which did not even fight.

As for trying to understand ISIS, some of the best articles
so far were written by Justin Raimondo and Mike Whitney.

Iraq: Why Bomb Now?
Two reasons: The Kurds – and the Israelis
and
Splitting up Iraq
It’s All for Israel
by MIKE WHITNEY

Posted by: Luca K | Aug 11 2014 21:25 utc | 167

The US taxpayer foots the bill for ISIS but the Kurds have to pony up the cash ...

US Sells Weapons to Kurdish Army


The U.S. has started providing weaponry to the Iraqi Kurdish army to help them push back against ISIL.

The Obama administration has started selling light arms and ammunition directly to the Kurdish government in Iraq in support of the Peshmerga, the Kurdish army, in their fight against the Islamist State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group in northern Iraq.


... the Kurds have been perhaps the most shamelessly used people in the Middle East, the US has set them up and knocked them down over and over again.

Posted by: john francis lee | Aug 11 2014 21:45 utc | 168

I'd be curious if "making them buy them" isn't a way to get avoid necessary approval/authorization needed to "gift" them.

Obama seems to be on rather thin ice here wrt to authorization, it's an election year and the Republican noise machine is filled with nonsensical rabid dogs perpetually hysterical ...

"We" don't seem to have been doing much "delivering humanitarian aid" -- more bombing areas of "hostile fire" that in theory (some quite far from the Yadihdi areas) prevented safe passage and/or delivery of aid, but then -- mission creep (can you hear the floorboards creak?) -- we're also in theory "protecting American personnel" to "prevent another Benghazi."

I'm guessing that making them pay "cash on the barrelhead" is all about the (domestic) optics ...

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 11 2014 21:57 utc | 169

@168

So the US is selling weapons to the kurds...I guess they did not want to be seen funding both sides of this calculated proxy conflict. Or maybe the US just wants to recoup some of those ISIS, ISIL, IS funds they spent and pivot those funds to kiev. Proxy wars on a budget...we all been told the US has a debt problem (wink,wink) ...gotta economize.

Posted by: really | Aug 11 2014 22:06 utc | 170

I've seen this logic a lot lately i.e. the application of US airpower is such a game-changer that ISIS will spin around and head for Allepo where (so the theory goes) they can win an easy victory without worrying about having their fun ruined by American air strikes.

Well, maybe. But I have several problems with that calculation.

In no particular order....
a) This implies that ISIS is mindless, and has no idea that this is what Obama wants them to do i.e. that Obama is attempting to uses airpower like a horse-whip to ride ISIS out of Iraq and into Syria.

But why would ISIS let Obama make their decisions for them?
If they are going to do that then why not cut to the chase and annoint him as their Caliph?


b) Those air strikes have so far been pretty puny, and certainly not enough to be game-changers.

So why change your game-plan when, honestly, is Obama's heart really in it?

c) ISIS has to weigh up the damage that air strikes can do against the danger that its ground opponents represent.

And these are givens: no matter how BIG the Iraqi Army is, it doesn't FIGHT, while no matter how numerically weak the Syrian Army is it can, does, and will fight.

So when did it ever get smart to launch yourself against the tough guys, when there are still some easy-beats to beat up on?

Those airstrikes hurt, sure, in the same way that a pinprick might hurt. But why give someone the satisfaction of flinching at a pinprick?

I suspect that ISIS will simply shrug them off, and get on with the job of beating up Iraq. Syria can wait.

Posted by: Johnboy | Aug 11 2014 22:14 utc | 171

@ 168

Didn't JSore draw our attention to WINEP/Israel instructing US to start doing just that... see his posts at 119, 120 and 121 above...

By gosh when Israel says 'jump' - the US sure says 'how high'?

All this theatre!

Posted by: crone | Aug 11 2014 22:26 utc | 172

I don't think I'd call it genuflection, I'd call it one half of the US ruling class congratulating the other.

And that's, to me, how it must be perceived. In class terms.

And so it must be said that older view taken by the left needs some serious updating. The idea that people like Chomsky hold to - and
no one here will accuse me of not appreciating Chomsky - and bevin has forwarded, is due a new look. Because it is no longer enough,
especially with the investigations of Meashimer and Walt and the rise of the neocons, to say that Israel is the US attack dog, and Israel
is simply doing our bidding. That may have been true in the 1980s, when it was feeding arms into the Central American genocides when
we could not do so, legally, but this is no longer the case. Israel has tremendous strategic power. And even if we speak of its massive
nuclear arsenal, its position in global economics and banking, not the least of these strategic assets is its ability to influence affairs in the United States.
So we must ask how this happens. How it is so deep, and seemingly irreversable. And so I turn back to class terms.

The problem of Israeli power is the problem of the anti-democratic nature of the US, and the control of its policies in all respects by the upper classes.
And I see that Jews in the US have taken a very substantial position in the US ruling class, but managed, quite deftly, to keep out of
the way of the US centered interests of the "native" sector of that ruling class. Even as a small group in numbers, they
play a huge role in the top "1%". And some of this congratulation - I have no doubt - is a psychological reaction to the anti-semitism
of the parents of the current ruling class. The explosion of growth in the US in the post war period was big enough for all, clearly.
And when the Jewish-Americans sidled into the ruling class, there was no objection. But as American prosperity has declined,
questions are beginning to arise.

This issue has split the left, certainly. And many Jews who were active during the anti-Vietnam movements in the 1960 turned to
identitly politics and, eventually, to complete rejection of their leftist internationalism in favor of support of Israel. John Stockwell,
famous American dissident whose moral objections to the CIA caused him to quit at the top of his career, notes that he saw this
occur at the time of the Gulf War. Perhaps no coincidence that it coincided with the ignoble fall of the Soviet Union, the birthplace and
spiritual home which beckoned many of these so-called "red-diaper" babies.

You have to consider that two things happened to the current generation of the ruling class: the split in the US over Vietnam,
compared with the seeming "triumph" of Israel over the Arabs in the '67 war (and it was seen that way in this country, as I understand
there was hardly any support for "Palestine" before 1982). And you have to consider the rise of the Jewish population of immigrants
to the absolute pinnacle (though in a compatible position) of US ruling power in the post war period. And the massive funds injected into
Jewish organizations in the 1970s-1990s, described succincly in Finklestein's "The Holocaust Industry", is also an important key to this.

So, that's my take. The old view that Israel is the mere cats paw of the US - though once correct - no longer holds and must be reexamined.
And with it, the fracture of the left. That said, the alternate view posited by others (not just JSorrentine), although vital to me coming to reflect
on this position, in some ways goes too far. It is not that Israel holds some dark power over the US, a power that, if ejected would "save" the US and return
the US to some peaceful power that the horrors of Vietnam and Indonesia surely show it never was. It is the simple fact that as part of globalization,
the ruling class has come together closer than ever.

And in that social closeness now displayed, the "native" elements of the ruling class praise the Israelis as their fellow conquerers.
They envy many of their traits, and, like any social scene, fear each others power and operate from a sense of mutual respect and understanding.
So when the US wants to assault Guatemala but can't send arms, Israel steps in and a "good turn" is done, so the US feels it can do the work of Israel by invading Iraq so long as
it gets the oil revenue and give it a flat tax.

Its quite a grand relationship for the ruling class. For the rest of us? Not so much.

Our task is still the same. Fight the ruling class. And as support for Israel becomes a defining feature of the ruling class, and as the ruling class
uses builds up that nation at the expense of those around it, so naturally does our attack on the ruling class become one on Israel.

I think I mentioned this before. It isn't enough to simply be anti-Israel. We should be anti-Israel because Israel is anti-democracy, anti-soverignty,
and anti-social. Is it some accident that Israel is now as much defined by capitalism and globalism and right wing fanatacism as the Good ole' USA?
And we should be pro-Palestinian because they represent what is happening to us all - left to rot at the feet of the "privileged"
gated communities, hemmed in by police and by razor wire, pushed to the brink of hopelessness because we are simply unwanted and unneeded,
by all of those that "count".

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 11 2014 23:45 utc | 173

@173 And with it, the idea that the Jewish people can no longer be given the medal for "special suffering". Which is not
to discount the crimes of the Nazis who, I believe, still remain the greatest villians and fiends the earth has ever seen (though
surely their partners and proteges in the US CIA learned their methods well). After all, did not the Russians lose 24 million civillians?
Four times that of the holocaust? Though at least they had a chance to fight.

But where the real resolution with facts of world suffering must be made is the following:

We must begin to think Vietnam, Indonesia, the horrible famines visited by the English on the Indians, the great opium epidemic forced on China to the
great drug war fed by US training and dollars today in Mexico. Of course Gaza, the West Bank. I mean, Slavery still has no apology. The extermination of the Native Americans either. The completely unimaginable
tragedies that begin in the 1800s with Belgian rule in Congo continues up to this day and have as of the
last decades produced another 5 million deaths.

Who, who knows, could not admit that the great ghettoes of the global South, and their subsequent murders and massacres adding
up to the tens if not hundreds of millions, gone on for hundreds of years and only today being emerged from - were the equal, at many times, to the calculated violence of the holocaust?

This begs for the attention of humanity. Especially those in Israel who think they have suffered in some special way.

Posted by: guest77 | Aug 11 2014 23:59 utc | 174

@ 174

Thank you for your post... particularly "This begs for the attention of humanity. Especially those in Israel who think they have suffered in some special way."

I am anti-Israel for many of the same reasons I am anti-USA... even though I am an American. I see US as Empire, and Israel along with it and the UK. Empire is in decline, dying... but I see Israel lusting to become empire - sole empire. The machinations that have gotten the US involved in the Ukraine are those of Israel and Israel Firsters here in the US.

Posted by: crone | Aug 12 2014 0:25 utc | 175

Chomsky himself revised his outlook on the relative influence of the fifth column, perhaps bevin missed it or rejected it.
Not that Chomsky has done so frequently enough or with enough emphasis.
As I said using other examples previously, the Cheneys and Rumsfelds will never be on good terms with eg the Michael Scheueurs and will attack them as anti-Semites and help marginalize them out of the Anglo-Zionist Elite before they will hint there is a smattering of substance to their claims.
That's teamwork.

Posted by: truthbetold | Aug 12 2014 0:45 utc | 176

Johnboy@171

Good analysis JB but if you see that the IS is fighting and winning on multiple fronts already it is obvious that they can multitask and continue attacking on all fronts. Many people don't seem to realize that the IS is not a small insurgent group but an active growing Army that has the personnel, tactics and orginazation to address many adversaries.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 12 2014 4:55 utc | 177

guest77 #173-74

My compliments for your analysis. And it is beautifully written.

I think that our challenge now is to understand the crucial standoff between the multipolar world and the cult of superpower, to stop a political singularity from emerging that will enthrone the elite classes. They are busy trying to dissolve what remains of sovereignty, high culture, arts, ethical science, and memory.

I think a kind of gruesome symbiosis has developed between the US and Israel; and each is using the other to full advantage. US politicians give public money to Israel, and Israel gives some of the money in a venal sort of contract, back to the same venal pols who make this largese possible. Bribery is, of course, an impeachable offense; and in the case of breaches of national security arising from it, it is treason.

This is why our representatives burst into applause with such vigor, whenever Netanyahu has the occasion of speaking before Congress.

But lets admit that this is not the whole story of the relationship. The state of siege of Gaza, and Israel's project of perpetual war over the captive people, is a laboratory of oppression. It's a weapon's laboratory too, a theater of psychological warfare, a controlled experiment to gauge what it takes to break the civil structure of a people who are determined to resist. The US and Israel are partners in empire.

Break the siege and the empire is broken. Expose the deceptions and the empire is broken. Resistance, solidarity, memory: these are our strengths.

I also agree with bevin who says, "the US fears peace and, to maintain its interests (those of its corporations), employs Israel to keep the region boiling, with strife between countries and communities. Israel is there to prevent Arab Nationalism from taking a state form. The US has taken over the role that Britain and France played from Sykes Picot to Israel’s attack on Suez in 1956. "

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 12 2014 6:49 utc | 178

Frank Schirrmacher (German center-right journalist) tweets shortly before his death:
"Result of the 'War Against Terror': Iraq is ruled by guys who are considered even by Al Quaida as being too extreme..."

Posted by: Martin | Aug 12 2014 10:05 utc | 179

Some commenters on www.antiwar.com report that Israel wants "No outcome" of the civil war in Syria. "Keep the stuggle/battle going forever". But if Israel would be forced to choose between ISIS and Assad then I think they would prefer Assad over ISIS. But with ISIS launching an attack on Aleppo would/could/will change the situation in Syria dramatically and it certainly would move the situation in Syria in a direction Israel doesn't like at all. Perhaps Israel should join Hezbollah in an attempt to resist ISIS becoming more powerful in Lebanon. Unforseen circumstances make strange bedfellows. Perhaps Israel wants "No outcome" in Lebanon as well ?

"May you live in interesting times".


Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 12 2014 13:54 utc | 180

@Willy2 | 180

Some commenters on www.antiwar.com report that Israel wants "No outcome" of the civil war in Syria. "Keep the stuggle/battle going forever". But if Israel would be forced to choose between ISIS and Assad then I think they would prefer Assad over ISIS. But with ISIS launching an attack on Aleppo would/could/will change the situation in Syria dramatically and it certainly would move the situation in Syria in a direction Israel doesn't like at all. Perhaps Israel should join Hezbollah in an attempt to resist ISIS becoming more powerful in Lebanon. Unforseen circumstances make strange bedfellows. Perhaps Israel wants "No outcome" in Lebanon as well ?

1st part is right, Israel wants Syria as a failed state, and eventually broken to pieces, with Israel occupying even more of its territory.

2nd part is wrong. Israel's ambassador already said on the record they would prefer jihadis in power over Assad.

And why wouldnt they? From one hand Israel already are the best buds with Saudis, and if you havent noticed, al Nusra/ISIS never attacked Israel (rather only attack the enemies of Israel, think its coincidence?). Terrorists are getting thousands tons of arms, intel and treatment from zio-regime.

From another angle, even if Israel would decide to spin their own proxy terrorists as "evil", its good for their perpetual war doctrine, getting more weapons and funds from US and langrabbing even more land, while jihaddis in power would sever all ties with Iran and Hezbollah. Win win all around for terrorists enablers in Israel.

Posted by: Harry | Aug 12 2014 14:17 utc | 181

More insights into the weaknesses of Kurdistan (from GUARDIAN: The Guardian view on the chances for successful US intervention in Iraq - There is no simple confrontation between Iraq and Isis, but a three-cornered contest between Iraq’s major regions, with further contests within each .

So is Kurdistan [divided], where longstanding rivalry between political parties and leading families has never been overcome, and where the peshmerga, the region’s army, although nominally united, still reflects those divisions.

The fact that Kurdistan has been a relative success story, compared with other parts of Iraq, has obscured the fact that it has many of the weaknesses of a typical oil-dependent state, including corruption, too many people on the government payroll, and a foreign labour force to do the menial as well as some of the expert jobs. This oil-based inflation of employment extends to the armed forces, criticised as too large, uncoordinated, too lightly equipped, and with poor logistical support. Professional armies do not run out of ammunition after a couple of days of combat, as some Kurd units are said to have done.

Casting ISIS or ISIL as "outside agitators" is meant to conceal (likely for the domestic audience) preexisting, deep seated conflicts -- like claiming union organizers, as "outside agitators" have created the labor unrest as if it were not a matter of the previously silenced finding courage and voice.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 12 2014 15:55 utc | 182

@181: My personal opinion is that Israel wouldn't prefer ISIS over Assad. Assad was a secular dictator but ISIS is certainly NOT secular, it's a bunch of religious fanatics. Victory for ISIS in Iraq and/or Iraq will destabilize the entire region even more. Jordan, West Bank, etc. Unless Saudi Arabia is willing & able to control ISIS and is able to prevent further destabilisation of the region by ISIS.

I also believe Saudi Arabia has let the genie out of the bottle by supporting ISIS. Are they able to control ISIS now ISIS has conquered a numbere of oil fields and now is no more/less dependent on Saudi support. I even think ISIS could come back to haunt the Saudis as well.

There's another reason why Israel should fear ISIS. By attacking Gaza Israel will push more and more muslims in the arms of ISIS. Like the american occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan was/is a good recruiting tool for the Taliban & Al Qaida. Israel may win the military battle for Gaza but it could end up losing the war and create more enemies in the Middle East & around the world.
Remember: Osama bin Laden had absolutely no problem finding volunteers to fly the planes on 9/11. And those hijackers came from Hamburg, Germany. In that regard history isrepeating itself.

In that regard the US invasion of Iraq has set in motion the transformation of the entire Middle East. And I am NOT sure this transformation will be beneficial for Israel. Several authors/writers have already pointed that out in the past.Eric Margolis, Daniel Ellsberg, Gwynne Dyer, Leon Hadar (to name a few).

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 12 2014 18:39 utc | 183

@181: Your comments do make sense. Both Israel & Saudi Arabia want the current situation to continue (for themselves) but I am not sure ISIS will have the same thoughts nad will play ball. But we'll have to wait & see what the future brings.

Hezbollah has sent fighters to Syria in order to help Assad. In that regard we could see that both Hezbollah & Israel want Assad to win/stay in power/control of Syria. And a defeat of Assad WILL spill over into Lebanon. These are some thought on how future events could unfold. And I think it's a very realistic scenario.

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 12 2014 18:49 utc | 184

US to give the Kurds russian weapons.
http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.nl/2014/08/us-to-supply-kurds-with-russian-arms.html

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 12 2014 18:56 utc | 185

the Atlantic on Bandar and the nurturing of ISIS: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/06/isis-saudi-arabia-iraq-syria-bandar/373181/

I recall that back in 2007 or so, when things were very bad, there was grave concern that the Saudis would heed the Iraqi Sunni's call to help them (and some speculation that they already were). It appears (weaselly word acknowledged) that Bandar was openly nurturing ISIS (while we proposed assisting the "moderates") ... from the Atlantic (circa June)

""By mid-April, just two weeks after President Obama met with King Abdullah on March 28, Bandar had also been removed from his position as head of Saudi intelligence—according to official government statements, at “his own request.” Sources close to the royal court told me that, in fact, the king fired Bandar over his handling of the kingdom’s Syria policy and other simmering tensions, after initially refusing to accept Bandar’s offers to resign. (Bandar retains his title as secretary-general of the king’s National Security Council.)""

Bizarrely, the piece BELOW suggests that Bandar was fired because the "moderates" that HE and the Saudis were supporting were losing ground to the extremists ... go figure.
See also:

Washington broke with the Saudi line on Prince Bandar bin Sultan’s watch on two major issues. The first was when Assad was encouraged to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention, thus avoiding what seemed like an inevitable (and greatly desire in Riyadh) US strike on regime targets; the second was when KSA’s arch-enemy, Iran, signed a nuclear agreement with the so-called 5+1 group, resulting in the removal of several embargos and sanctions and again making a military strike more unlikely than it has been for decades.

In response to this headstrong behaviour by President Obama and the US Congress, Prince Bandar bin Sultan tried to build alternative bridges with Russian President Vladimir Putin; he met with him about four times, and spent lengthy periods in Moscow during the last six months during which he met top Russian political and security leaders. We will see what the outcome of these visits will turn out to be.


April 2014: WILAYAH: Why did Prince Bandar resign as Saudi intelligence chief?.

note: I can find no information about WILAYAH NEWS, but it seems Saudi-centric -- they have a facebook page [ https://www.facebook.com/wilayahnews ] but I have no idea who is funding them, etc.

Posted by: Susan Sunflower | Aug 12 2014 19:06 utc | 186

Posted by: T2010 | Aug 11, 2014 3:24:24 AM | 105


i seem to recall heretics(eg Luther, Hus etc) were the good guys branded so by repressive authorities...
you really no nothing of the makeuop of ISIS or alnusra do u...not that anyones bothered to investigate

here are some of your 'heretics'

www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxgFR9vYSmY

as you see not your bogeyman heretics..just your average muslims lied to by the media into going on jihad...thats what nmost of them are: convinved what they are doing is right and permitted under islamic law
The other sort of sunni we see at work is the wahhabi purist..seeking to create a space of pure islam..which is why we see christians and sha benig attacked...now to the wahhabi type, shia are at best hetretics, at worst..well, the jihadis like to cannibalise them

Posted by: brian | Aug 12 2014 23:09 utc | 187

Posted by: madisolation | Aug 11, 2014 7:30:32 AM | 117

israel involved, at the risk of being called an antisemite, i will say...thats a no brainer..the clue is no jihadi has evr gone to aid the palestinians..and while gaza is being blitzed, no jihadi has even shed a tear.

Posted by: brian | Aug 12 2014 23:11 utc | 188

The Arabs were able to expand so quickly and to conquer the Sassanid Persian Empire and the southern provinces of the Byzantine Empire in the seventh century because Persia and Byzantium had exhausted themselves fighting a long war against each other.

Posted by: lysias | Aug 11, 2014 2:31:48 PM | 152

is history repeating itelf yet again!

Posted by: brian | Aug 12 2014 23:14 utc | 189

i should have added...there are many foolish people who want russia to get mired in wars...either in syria or ukraine, the crank up the emotions by posting savage photos of videos of victims...thus aiding the vultures lying in the wings

Posted by: brian | Aug 12 2014 23:16 utc | 190

Posted by: Penny | Aug 11, 2014 3:50:29 PM | 162

ordinary people(not just bogey men) driven to war by shadowy forces, who wind us up to promote their war agenda.

this is 4th generation war where we all get to play a part

Posted by: brian | Aug 12 2014 23:21 utc | 191


'@181: My personal opinion is that Israel wouldn't prefer ISIS over Assad. Assad was a secular dictator but ISIS is certainly NOT secular, it's a bunch of religious fanatics'
Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 12, 2014 2:39:14 PM | 183

oh bloody hell!

the media says : 'repeat after me: Assad is a dictator! Assad is killer!' do it often enough and you begin to believe it.

Devils Dictionary defines 'dictator' as free, capable independent leader.

Posted by: brian | Aug 12 2014 23:25 utc | 192

'@181: My personal opinion is that Israel wouldn't prefer ISIS over Assad.'
@183

and to add: manufacturing personal opinions is a media speciality, they plant ideas that you believe are your own : Inception

No israel doesnt prefetr Assad...they dont patch up assads soldiers..just the jihadis.

clueless

Posted by: brian | Aug 12 2014 23:27 utc | 193

ISIS or IS, as the group now prefer to be called... answers to ISrael...

Posted by: crone | Aug 13 2014 1:32 utc | 194

Trying to pigeonhole the IS as tools of, choose one or many, the CIA, the Saudis, the Israelis or some other dark force seems to be a popular meme here and elsewhere but where do these conspiracy theories come from and Cui Bono? The answer to who benefits is Iran, Damascus and Hezbollah while the origonal source for many of the poorly constructed claims is the bowels of Tehran where some of these masterminds still think the Onion is a straight news source.

I don't think most of the people who parrot this nonsense are actual tools of Tehran but some people I have encountered do appear to be, if not agents, at least enablers of this propaganda.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Aug 13 2014 3:57 utc | 195

@148 "Islam is a not a religion it is a totalitarian political movement"

Talking Point No. 1...

Posted by: Snake Arbusto | Aug 13 2014 7:18 utc | 196

guest77 #173-74

Yes, very good analysis.

Posted by: Malooga | Aug 13 2014 8:01 utc | 197

re 195. The answer to who benefits is Iran, Damascus and Hezbollah.

I thought it was the principle on MoA that posts have to be moderately intelligent. It's rare that I've a remark as ignorant as this.

Posted by: Alexno | Aug 13 2014 9:31 utc | 198

Patrick Cockburn makes another point. When the US start to attack ISIS with planes or drones then ISIS will retaliate with multiple suicide attacks against US facilities.

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 13 2014 11:43 utc | 199

Patrick Cockburn:
- An Iraqi minister warned the US for 3 years to stop the support for the rebels in Syria because the violence would destabilize Iraq as well.
- Saudi Arabia has stationed troops at the border with Iraq in order to stop jihadis from coming back into Saudi Arabia.

What a pretty fine mess.

Posted by: Willy2 | Aug 13 2014 12:08 utc | 200

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