Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
September 05, 2014

On Fighting ISIS NATO Members Tell Obama To Shove It

President Obama and his British poodle tried hard to push other NATO countries in repeating the mistakes the U.S. and UK made when they attacked Iraq:

President Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain have called on NATO to reject “isolationist” impulses and confront the rising terrorist threat posed by Sunni militants in the Middle East, saying the United States and Britain “will not be cowed by barbaric killers.”

“We will not waver in our determination to confront” the militant group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, the two leaders wrote in a joint opinion piece published in Thursday’s editions of The Times of London. “If terrorists think we will weaken in the face of their threats they could not be more wrong.

The problem with their call may have been that it was published behind the Times of London's pay-wall. Why should any NATO head of state bother to hand over a British Pound to Rupert Murdoch for the questionable fun of reading more U.S./UK lobbying for their weapon industries?

Mr. Obama and Mr. Cameron argued that NATO must transition to a “more effective security network that fosters stability around the world,” urging member nations to bolster military spending.

The leaders of other NATO states know that their tax-payers will not agree to higher military spending. They reject the call. But the effort to write the op-ed was not completely for naught?

NATO leaders are set to agree at a summit on Friday to help organize security assistance for Iraq in its fight against Islamic State militants, including coordinating the airlift of supplies, a Western official said.

NATO is expected to set up a clearing house that would match offers of military supplies to help the Iraqi authorities with available transport aircraft, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

NATO would not take part in any combat operations, and the security assistance would be provided by individual member states and partners, he said.

Somewhere in Brussels some U.S./UK sergeant stashed away in a dark corner of NATO headquarters will have some spreadsheet saying five mattresses are waiting to be flown from Croatia to Basra. That will "help" a lot.

Notice that this is a complete rejection of the Obama/Cameron request. The "help to coordinate" phrase means that there is not even the tiniest bit NATO will do. Anything to be actually done is up to "individual members" i.e. the U.S. and UK.

Two days ago I wrote that NATO is in decline:

there is little left of NATO that future taxpayers might want to support

At least with regards to Iraq (and Syria) NATO members just told the self proclaimed "leader of the free world" to shove it.

Count that as one positive outcome of the current NATO summit in Wales.

Posted by b on September 5, 2014 at 11:04 UTC | Permalink


Two days ago I wrote that NATO is in decline:

Did you see a good broadside against NATO published by Craig Murray yesterday: NATO – An Idea Whose Time Has Gone?

Posted by: Alexno | Sep 5 2014 11:17 utc | 1

So NATO won't be fighting ISIL even though ISIL is dubbed to be the biggest threat to global security. For NATO members to deem the security measures against ISIL as "optional" is telling. Could it be that ISIL is not the massive all reaching terror beast portrayed by US/UK warmongers? I feel a public persuasion/distraction is going to be orcheastrated, sooner than later, the prelim MH 17 report is due on the 9th.

But maybe NATO is becoming 'teethless dog' (I read that in one of the comments sectionshere), or maybe NATO is just focusing its efforts on Ukraine, since it seems hellbent to cozy up to Russia's border and cement Cold War 2.0 or destroy the planet trying.

Posted by: really | Sep 5 2014 11:48 utc | 2

Nobody wants to fight the ISIL because they're a useful tool against NATO's perceived enemies.

Think of them as expendable forces that do the heavily lifting with minimal cost to NATO. I mean, a few Westerners getting their heads chopped off isn't exactly making NATO policy makers sh*tting their pants or losing sleep at night.

In other news, the propaganda coming out of NATO capitals (BBC in particular) against Putin/Russia over Ukraine makes me believe something's up. More fireworks to come. This is Obama's double down in full throttle. So no, ISIL/ISIS can wait, NATO has a more pressing issue now -Russia!!!!

Hmmmmmm...I love the smell of Bulava//Topol in the morning.

Posted by: zico | Sep 5 2014 12:14 utc | 3

You are reading it all wrong. Obama is upping the ante on Europe to take responsibility for its own defense. He knows they won't take the challenge. You don't think this was predicted and predictable? For far too long, Europe, like Canada, and a large part of the World has relied on America to pick up the slack for global security matters. Obama's strategy is to ween the World off America's tit. It's time for the rest of the World to be responsible for the ensuing massive carnage to come. In fact, it's already here — it's only just begun. As America retracts its footprint and prodigious presence per the incessant critics' request, conflict will break out everywhere, including Europe. You can only blame yourselves at this/that point, but no doubt you'll blame America. But while you're busy blaming America for doing what you requested, meaning staying out of it, your backyard will be a bonfire. So be it. Ask, and you shall receive. Mark my words.

Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Sep 5 2014 12:16 utc | 4

From Going to Tehran August 31 by Hillary Leverett...

If there were a strategy, it would actually tell the American public the hard things they need to hear, which is that you don’t partner with, align with, have coalitions just with countries that have like-minded, so-called ‘values.’ You deal with countries as they are—like Iran and Assad’s Syria, who are the only governments in the region fighting ISIS. And to have this policy that keeps them in the ground is enormously destructive to the United States.”

Hillary points out another serious defect in the U.S. policy discussion—namely, political and policy elites’ collective and willful refusal to acknowledge that the Islamic State has popular support:

“A Saudi-funded newspaper, Al Hayat, did a poll in Saudi Arabia, of Saudi public opinion. They found that 92 percent of Saudis believe that ISIS conforms to their view of Islamic values and Islamic law. So we have our head in the sand—that this makes no sense, everybody hates [ISIS], and we can recruit our Sunni autocracies as allies to fund even more Sunni militants to deal with this. That is insane…

Could NATO's 'Policy Elites' be visiting Going to Tehran occasionally to find out what people who aren't greedy corrupt cretins think?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 5 2014 12:20 utc | 5

"Nobody wants to fight the ISIL because they're a useful tool against NATO's perceived enemies..."
Posted by: zico | Sep 5, 2014 8:14:27 AM | 3

Agreed. I wonder why we have not heard anything about those missing airliners from libya's airport, which are believed to be in militant possession?

Posted by: really | Sep 5 2014 12:27 utc | 6

Formation of Juncker Commission advances

President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker today sent the list of Commissioners-designate to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in his capacity as President of the Council of the European Union.

Posted by: Oui | Sep 5 2014 12:52 utc | 7

"As America retracts, conflicts will break out everywhere." The Catcher in the Lie at his best,
Regarding propping up the North Atlantic Terror Organisation, 2% of GDP would mean for e.g. Germany an additional 22 bio €. I wonder what it will take to sell the citizens such a burden. At the present they sell it low, 1,3% - 2%, bah, what's the difference. It's either some kind of "headchopping ala 9/11" in a western capital or another russian invasion (preferably with russian tanks ;)

Posted by: slirs | Sep 5 2014 13:34 utc | 8

Sorry, hit post too soon. I quick observation, is it not possible the Ukraine was opened to give Putin a reason to walk away from Syria in exchange for keeping NATO out of Ukraine.

Posted by: Brad a | Sep 5 2014 14:56 utc | 9

"NATO wants... peace"
When it really means: two major steps too high before any lasting peace.
If any country has any hope for peace... please remove the two following words: 'NATO' and 'wants'.
Without 'NATO' military diplomacy and the 'wants' from demonic merchants of death mixed with banking/energy racketeers... many wars, deaths and unwarranted suffering would have been avoided.

Posted by: froggy | Sep 5 2014 15:38 utc | 10

"...United States and Britain “will not be cowed by barbaric killers.”"

Of course not.
Peoples of these two countries often even vote in barbaric terrorists.

Posted by: Scan | Sep 5 2014 15:40 utc | 11

Relax! A cease fire in NR is good. Civilians need a breather from the evil barrage raining phosphor and grads. Winter is coming. A humanitarian catastrophe is in the making. General winter is coming. The East has to quickly rebuild and provide heat and food.

Poroshenko has admitted defeat and Yats is going stridently nuts. Those encircled troops need to demobilize and go home to the West. They need to leave their gear as is and where is. There is no fuel supply to take the gear and equipment back home. Ukraine is broke and at risk of not getting their usual free ride on gas supply.

NATO's rapid reaction force of 4,000 can't do anything against armor and Grads. The proposed fast reaction force is similar to Russia's "polite men in green." Russia announced an upcoming drill for which their own Spetsnaz will act as the enemy. That should tell those NATO fst reaction forces what is in store for them. Russia could deploy their polite men in green in Crimea as they could blend in with welcoming Russians in Crimea. How can a multinational rapid deployment force deploy and blend in Ukraine?

France lost credibility as a world weapon supplier. Buyers do not like to take risks. France and Germany are trying to backpedal in the sanctions department. NATO has lost and now you hear Fog of War Rasmussen making more conciliatory remarks about the ceasefire.

Winter is coming. Putin has all the cards and he knows it.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Sep 5 2014 16:39 utc | 12

The less than enthusiastic support by NATO to go after ISIS means that Cameron and Obama will have to go it alone against Assad who is still backed by Iran, Hezbollah and Russia. Obama can muster the passive help from Jordan and more active help from Israel but this is inconvenient to the Arabs and makes it transparent who is really funding ISIS.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Sep 5 2014 17:20 utc | 13

@ 13 Sun Tzu

"Cameron and Obama will have to go it alone against Assad "

Wasn't Monsieur Flamby (lover boy motorcycle rider Hollande) ready to go alone last August in ousting Assad after Le Monde supposedly found chlorine use in gassing Syrians in Damascus?

Posted by: Yul | Sep 5 2014 20:46 utc | 14

@ 14 Yul

Yes and Hollande did what Hollande does. Britain also had a sudden cold feet afliction back then. This dog won't bite.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Sep 5 2014 20:53 utc | 15

In other news, Mr. Hunter Biden is hunting for a new job while a Malaysian team of doctors are mobilizing to give his boss Burisma Holdings CEO Mr. Kolomosky an unscheduled colonoscopy.

Posted by: Sun Tzu | Sep 5 2014 22:56 utc | 16

would washingtonpost care to provide evidence of russian troops IN ukraine?
By Editorial Board September 2
AS RUSSIAN soldiers and tanks advance across southeastern Ukraine, the Obama administration and the NATO alliance are making a show of defending several nations that lie far away and that are not presently under attack.
etc #biglie
this sort of BIG LIE, like that used by hitler to invade poland,is what gets wars started

Posted by: brian | Sep 6 2014 3:19 utc | 17

'With its roots in the Great Game of espionage and intrigue between Victorian subalterns and the Tsar’s Cossacks in Central Asia, a systemic antipathy to Russia as such only took root in America from the time it assumed Britain’s imperial mantle at the dawn of the Cold War. The hostility, of course, has been mutual, and Russians have not forgotten how their land suffered through the “peace dividend” of US unipolarity in the 1990s. Promised that the North Atlantic alliance would never contemplate expanding eastward, Mikhail Gorbachev starred in pizza commercials and Boris Yeltsin headlined summits with his trademark vodka-soaked buffoonery. It was then that a weakened, bankrupt Russia could be looted by multinationals, its people impoverished and demoralized, and the state further subverted by forces from “civil society” NGOs to cutthroat jihadist mercenaries waging holy war in the North Caucasus.

Those days of humiliation are over, and that’s what has Washington worried. During his 15 years of “authoritarian” rule, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin set his country on a new path after a disastrous post-Soviet decline. Early on he thwarted the ambitions of oligarchs and regional separatists; since then he has moved to counter US/NATO plans for controlling Eurasia and its energy transit networks. This struggle has played out through espionage, color-coded revolutions, pipeline double-crosses and proxy wars. After a naval task force dispatched by Moscow effectively deterred the West from bombing Syria in 2013, US foreign policy planners decided to upend Russian resurgence through a quick and dirty route to destabilization: Ukraine.'

Posted by: brian | Sep 6 2014 3:29 utc | 18

'By orchestrating a coup in Kiev in February of this year, American strategists were gambling on the seizure of Crimea, home to the Black Sea Fleet. Sevastopol in NATO hands would have drastically curtailed Russian influence in the Eastern Mediterranean while ensuring Russian vulnerability to US missile defense and first strike assets. Moscow’s hold on the North Caucasus (and even the Volga Basin) would also inevitably come under challenge, given Washington’s history of generating chaos through webs of foundations and aid agencies. Due to Putin’s quick action, instead of evicting the Kremlin from Crimea, the State Department and CIA unwittingly played catalyst to the peninsula’s reunion with its historical motherland. This bloodless victory constituted an intolerable affront to the vanity of America’s policy elites, sending their demonization campaign into overdrive.;'

Posted by: brian | Sep 6 2014 3:32 utc | 19

Coldie @4: "You are reading it all wrong. Obama is upping the ante on Europe to take responsibility for its own defense."

Coldie, also @4: "For far too long, Europe, like Canada, and a large part of the World has relied on America to pick up the slack for global security matters."

Pardon me? Which is it, Coldie?

Is Europe not spending enough on its "own defense", or are you arguing that Europe is not spending enough to enable it to do the heavy-lifting on "global security matters"?

You do know that the former is not at all the same thing as the latter, don't you?

You are aware that EUROPEAN countries gave up on all that world-domination, global-reaching nonsense, oh, about the time that such notions led Europe to utter ruins? Right?

Coldie, again, @4: "It's time for the rest of the World to be responsible for the ensuing massive carnage to come."

No, actually, it's not "the rest of the World's" responsibility to clean up America's mess.

The European countries are spending more than enough money on their "own defense", and a Europe-minus-NATO would be perfectly capable of defending itself from any external threat, including any expansionist tendencies that Russia may-or-may-not have.

What Obama wants (and you too, by the looks) is for Europe to shoulder more of the cost of AMERICA's worldwide propensity for military adventurism, precisely because AMERICA no longer has the money to be so adventurous.

But AMERICA wants to continue that adventurism - they are addicted to it - and the way that Obama proposes to pay for all that world-domination, global-reaching mucking-about is to demand a levy of troops from its European vassals.

Feudalism, in a word.

Posted by: Johnboy | Sep 6 2014 4:25 utc | 20

@20 The U.S. MIC wants Europe to pick up slack from the economic fallout of NSA spying. Large sections of the world won't use U.S. companies or firms. Obama is even trying to undermine the French arms industry with the Mistral shenanigans. It's not about adventurism as much as profit for one of Obama's economic bright spots, white collar crime and arms exports. If Brazil and Egypt cancel contracts, soon everyone will.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Sep 6 2014 13:46 utc | 21

Same story from "Informed Comment":

I see another reason why NATO members are reluctant to start bombing ISIS/ISIL. Military action against ISIS/ISIL also will radicalize muslims living in Europe (more).

Remember, Mohammad Atta, one of the pilots of the planes on 9/11 lived in Hamburg, Germany.

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 6 2014 18:19 utc | 22

The US economy is also "NOT in the best of financial shapes". E.g. in th 1970s, 1980s, 1990s US Household income continued to go higher. It remained (more or less) flat from 2000 up to 2007. Since 2008 US houshold income has gone down. No, I don't think the US public would approve more US wars, provided they were asked. But the US public isn't asked anything.

Posted by: Willy2 | Sep 6 2014 18:23 utc | 23

Correct Willy2, the US can;t keep this up economically.

America Can't Pay for Its Wars, Analysis Says
Obama may have to change his priorities if Congress and the Defense Department can't mesh on funding.

"America can no longer afford all of its wars and military adventures abroad.

That’s the argument put forward by a nonpartisan budget analysis expressing concern over an apparent disconnect between the Defense Department, which has submitted its new budget for fiscal year 2015, and Congress, whose inability to balance a budget and agree on deficit levels has triggered automatic cuts that have slashed military spending to the bone and beyond."
"The U.S. spends $1.3 billion per week in Afghanistan"
"At the height of the Iraq War, the U.S. spent $600,000 per troop on the ground each year"

Though they don't mention the insanely money sapping F-35, literal combat ships, etc. These are a major contributor to the total blow out in military spending. But everything has limits. You can't have wars all over the World AND spend huge amounts on all this new (and very questionable) equipment.

Posted by: OldSkeptic | Sep 6 2014 20:16 utc | 24

To our Distinguished Correspondent, Cold1 @ 4 --

Hey man, sorry I missed you there, tired of the Ukraine thread? We'll pick up our little chat when you blow smoke about the still-secret 14 pt. peace plan.

First, you seem a little too eager to revel in death and destruction. Starting with the Italian futurists, the fascists were big on the transformative power of violence. We live on small planet, growing smaller all the time, peace is in everyone's interest, IMHO. I would allow, sometimes force has to be met with force. But judiciously, cautiously, not precipitously.

And before you go there - don't. It's the American Empire being appeased by EU, not Putin.

Second, you seem to miss the hhu and cry against "isolationism" by the Rethuglicans, directed not only at Obama but Rand Paul as well. They have ol' "Barry Choom" spooked, it seems to me. Why all this tough talk about the Ukraine and Middle East on his part if we're pulling back?

Finally, don't you have it backwards? Isn't it American actions causing mayhem? It wasn't Germany or Lichtenstein that got the Security Council, through creative fiction about yellow cake, WMD's, mushroom clouds, bogus links to Sept. 11 & al-Qaeda, etc., to authorize a "pre-emptive" war.

Like the Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party under S. Hussein would host the fundamentalists of al-Qaeda. They hate godless reds even more than Christians and apostates. Do you recall the treatment the Taliban meted out to Najibullah, former Afghan president, when they took Kabul.

A country already under a crippling regime of sanctions and bombings and constant surveillance hardly posed a threat. I remember all sorts of loose talk about "mushroom clouds." Int'l. inspectors made it clear, they had nothing. But we affected ignorance. The young Mr. Bush was funnier and far more revealing than he intended, I think, when he searched the Oval Office for WMD's.

Sure, France has taken the lead on gingering up Libya, Syria. But we did nothing to prevent those follies, and now want to double down in the Fertile Crescent.

Now get ready, set -- obfuscate!

PS - Apropos you're "drunken rambling" crack on the Ukr. thread, still sober as a judge, btw, in case you missed my response back there. Do you know the definition of a problem drinker? One that never pays for a round. You're buying the next one, right? Innkeeper, I'll have a Dewars, straight up, club soda on the side please. Here's mud in your eye.

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 6 2014 22:05 utc | 25

pps to my 25

Cold1, posted this before I saw your jab on the Ukraine thread. You're quite a piece of work. Innkeeper, better make mine a double. "May you be in Heaven a hour before the Devil knows you're dead."

Posted by: rufus magister | Sep 7 2014 0:24 utc | 26

ISIL oil sales...

Posted by: really | Sep 7 2014 1:04 utc | 27


Barbaric Killers? Barbaric Killers?!
Where's our Operation Enduring Freedom Victory Dividend!?
Who are these WADC-NOVA Satrapee dog-eaters bowing in obeisance to?!

ISIS/IL™ is USUKIL's deliberate attempt at Full Spectrum Dominance of Human Mind Space.
These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For

This is called 'Progressive Stress Exhaustion of Morality and Ethics by Shock Therapy'.
That attempt at PSYOP is in itself crimes against humanity, and the perps should hang.

Posted by: ChipNikh | Sep 7 2014 3:06 utc | 28

"These Aren't the Droids You're Looking For."
Posted by: ChipNikh | Sep 6, 2014 11:06:34 PM | 28

Yep. That neatly sums it up ... on several levels.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 7 2014 5:15 utc | 29

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