Friday, June 13, 2014

Tings Bruk Down

In an utterly shocking, completely-unforeseeable development, the shambolic "government" that United States animated in Iraq, its rent-a-goon Army, and its paramiliary police force are washing away like sand before the incoming tide of angry Sunnis.

What the hell is there to say, really? Other than what I've said over and over again?
"...that sucker was shot in the head eight years ago, when a clown-car full of rage-drunk idiots and cynical thieves tried to sneak into a foreign land and steal it on the cheap, justifying their theft with lies and evasions, muffing the thievery with ignorance and arrogance, and then taking years and years to accept that they couldn't change thousands of years of human history and hundreds of years of poverty, misgovernment, sectarian hatred, and Ottoman incompetence by their pure will alone. The entire mess was doomed from the start, it just took eight years for the fantasists in D.C. to recognize it was walking dead, and the only beneficiaries of its zombie progress since then have been the various outfits that have made millions looting the Occupation and the Malikist strain of Iraqi Shia who now stand to consolidate their kleptocracy with the help of the pals to the northeast.

It's not "over" for the ordinary Iraqi, mind you. The mess that Dubya and Dick created when they knocked over the Baathist toybox in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates won't be "over" for years, or decades. The social, economic, and political disaster that the idiots who truly believed that they "made their own reality" will haunt the poor bastards that live in that haunted land for generations."
One thing that the usual idiots and the reliable-liars-of-the-Right are saying that makes my jaw drop is that it's time to get our war back on to go shovel this water, again, like somehow it's going to work out any better than it did the last time.

To which I have no better reply than to quote the section of Zee Edgell's work Beka Lamb that pretty much sums up in 131 words what happens to those who have tried to hustle the Valley of the Tigris and Euphrates since the Fall of the Abbasid Caliphate in 1258:

"I know. But nothin' lasts here, Beka. Tings bruk down."

Her Gran leaned the fork carefully against the frying pan, pushed the window over the back stairs and propped it open with a long pole. Then she said:

"I don't know why, Beka. But one time, when I was a young girl like you, a circus come to town. I can't remember where it was from and don't ask me what happened to it afta. The circus had a fluffy polar bear - a ting Belize people never see befo'. It died up at Barracks Green, Beka. The ice factory broke down the second day the circus was here."

Beka's Granny Ivy was crying. Her apron tail was over her face, and she said again and again,

"It died, Beka. It died."


  1. Questions:

    1] Perhaps the Iraqis will now get rid of Maliki?

    2] The Kurds may finally have a true homeland? Will they be recognized by any other countries?

    3] The bloodbaths in Syria may stop if ISIS is too busy in Iraq?

    4] What will happen in the Kingdom of Jordan?

    5] If things get worse will Iran go whole hog and invade - meaning the IRIA and IRIAF and not just Pasdaran so-called 'volunteers'?

    6] If #5 is yes then what does Israel do?

  2. Answers (pulled directly out of my fourth point of contact)...

    1. Which "Iraqis" do you speak of, mike? The folks in the kaffiyahs headed down the road to Baghdad? I'm sure they'll be happy to lend Mister Maliki three yards of rope and find somewhere to hang it from. The Kurds? They've already "gotten rid" of Maliki years ago. The Shia? He's Their Man in Baghdad, why would they want to get rid of him, unless it's to replace him with a more competent dictator?

    2. Ask the Turks, or the Iranians how they feel about that. The Kurdish part of Iraq has been more-or-less and independent entity for years now and neither the Iraqi Kurds nor anyone else has been in a big hurry to declare statehood.

    3. The bloodbath in Syria is one of the main reasons that the Sunni factional army is so successful in Iraq. My understanding, poor as it is, is that one of the ideas animating a lot of these guys is the formation of a Sunni Arab state-ish sort of thing carved out of western Iraq and a big chunk of eastern Syria, a Sunniland only without the oil.

    4. Are you asking, in effect, "Will Jordan become a bigger fuckstory than it already is?" my guess would be "Probably, given its rulers' association with the West and the U.S. and the animus against those places motivating the invaders." But at this point, who knows, really? There's absolutely no guarentee that this invasion succeeds, at least at the moment...

    5. Would you blame them? If you ruled in Tehran, would you want a Saddam v.2.0 only with more nutzoid Sunni Islamic mojo ruling in Baghdad?

    6. Pull up a chair, settle down with a cold beer, and cheer for whoever kills the most Muslims?

    I should add this; to me this is as inevitable as night falling. We've pretty much figured out that Iraq wasn't Iraq because Saddam was Saddam, but that Saddam was Saddam because Iraq was Iraq. The brutal sonofabitch managed through the old Ottoman tools of force and fear to hammer a semi-secular state out of the ugly post-Ottoman, post-colonial hot mess that worked semi-well if you were in or close to the ruling kleptocracy. We knocked the stopper off that goddamn bottle and let all the genies out and boy, howdy, was that a disaster.

    I knew there wasn't a hope in hell that 10 or 100 or 1,000 years of occupation would have "built" a nation out of the damn place unless it was made of 100% awesome AND had a total buy-in from all the subgroups in Iraq. Instead it was a complete goatfuck and most of the players hoped to slip in the knife whenever they could.

    But the one thing I thought that my Army might be able to do was build an Iraqi Army that could fight. In fact, my suspicion was that the ONLY thing that the U.S. could build was an Army, and that inevitably as the post-occupation Iraq degenerated into a sectarian shithole that some Iraqi on Horseback would overthrow Maliki or his successor and take over.

    Now it turns out that we couldn't even do that. This isn't the fucking "Das Reich" rolling down the road from Mosul, fercryinoutloud. This is the same bunch of Saddamites, donkey-wallopers, and rolling clusterfuckers that bashed their heads against the Iranians outside Basra uselessly for eight years, lost to the U.S. twice, and have been dinking around the Levant for the past couple of years unable to give the damn Alawites their conge'. This is the goddamn jihadi scrub team armed with hand-me-down AKs and RPGs left over from the Lebanese Civil War, and the worthless IA and IP can't run away from them fast enough. Turns out that all we did in all that time was produce a light opera troupe only with Humvees.


  3. Institutions are funny things.
    They are built of people, but not just any group of people make an institution.

    It is all about cohesion (which is invisible, you only know it is there when you tug on it).

  4. Chief:

    I reckon the Iraqi Shia will get rid of Maliki. His masters in Tehran may also push to have him replaced.

    Yes, the Iraqi Kurds have de facto independence. But that has just whetted their appetite for the real thing. And aren’t the Turks and Iranians kind of busy with other things right now?. You are probably right that it won’t happen. A shame though, if any people in the world deserve independence and their own homeland it is the descendants of Saladin.

    I think you are right on about Sunniland. But they want some of that oil too.

    You are probably right again on Jordan. But even if this invasion does not succeed, wouldn’t that put eastern Jordan at greater risk?

    No, I wouldn’t blame Tehran for sending in their real military forces to keep Takfiris out of Baghdad. And who would stop them? I suspect they will show more restraint and go with something like Chennault’s American Volunteer Group of the Chinese Air Force, or Pen Dehuai’s People's Volunteer Army in Korea. But then Sadr may not need any help to deny Baghdad to ISIS. The bigger question is how far is Tehran willing to go to kick ISIS out of the entire country?

    Or. . . instead of pulling up a chair, they would probably pull together their biggest lobbying effort yet in Congress and in the American media.

    As far as building armies, we tried to build a good one with the ARVN. And a small part of it was damn good. But we could not put backbone in all of them, and panic is contagious.

    If I recall correctly, Sadr's militia had some backbone. They may not even need Tehran except for arms and tech advice.

  5. All the King's horses and all the King's men?

  6. One of the most interesting observations I've read on the collapse of the IA was a BBC report that criticized the U.S. Army's insistence on building a force that relied on junior officer and NCO leadership and initiative rather than incorporate the old Iraqi top-down system. The observer's point was that unlike the U.S. and other Western militaries the Iraqis didn't and don't have access to a large pool of people with the skills to become competent leaders, or the social cohesion to be able to expect a large enough group of recruits to train up to be those leaders. The old system was clumsy in that it depended on direction from above but resilient in that the subordinates were afraid to disobey. That's gone, and what replaced it was no more than a facade of Western technical and tactical skills over a deep well of corruption, nepotism, and incipient chaos.

  7. Chief,
    We have a template for this situation.
    It was the 72 Offensive in RVN. Both then and now we have proof that you can build,train/equip an army/police force and buy them toys, but that means nothing if they do not have a legitimate gov't and goals.
    Who is willing to fight and die for corruption?
    Now 2014 , just like 1972 we'll step in with a bombing campaign to make us feel good and honorable, and the 3 years down the road, or after the 2016 election cycle we'll flush the entire enterprise.That's how we roll.
    Now i must ask -should we even have a foreign oriented Army? Obviously it can only add to the confusion and level of violence.
    Let them kill each other with out our help,and 1 thing is certain in my world view.If they wanted us out then let us stay out.
    We like Pilate can wash our hands of this mess.
    When democracy can create such garbage messes as a result of our ignorant policies then we need to re evaluate our entire purpose for existing.
    Screw the Iraqis, let's get our act together.
    jim hruska

    1. Thing is, jim, what I'm seeing is that all the same idiots that were so disastrously wrong back in '02 and '03 are coming out of the woodwork; Feith, McCain, Cheney, Batshit Billy Kristol, Max Das Boot, and all repeating the idiot nonsense that was so wrong over a decade ago. And every one of these fucking idiots is getting a respectful listen from the networks, on the Sunday shows, in the right-wing blogs and websites.

      Which, in turn, puts the Obama Administration in the position of having to do "something" or appear "weak". And the American Sheeple, carefully trained in the ideal of "Both Sides Do It", hear Kristol and Feith and Cheney and give their moronic bullshit exactly the same weight as the people who have actually been paying attention to what the hell has been going on since the last GI was killed in Iraq (and the sheeple stopped paying attention).

      So I guess what I'm saying is that the political situation, the U.S. public, and the disgraceful condition of the U.S. make it almost impossible to "get our act together" or, as seydlitz might put it, to think strategically and rationally about the U.S. national interests in this region and how to achieve them...

    2. But Chief, Obama pulled us out of Iraq too soon, didn't he?

  8. Just the other day, the wife of a chaplain friend bemoaned how sad it was that "the work of brave people who deployed once, twice, three times might be wasted". She wasn't willing to argue against the fact that we shouldn't have invaded in the first place, just "hoping that some good might finally come from all of this." I held back from saying that good rarely comes from stupidity, no less downright wrong.

  9. Interesting transcript of yesterdays DoD press briefing at this this LINK

    Apparently we have increased our ISR support to Maliki.

    But in my mind the key item during the Q&A was:

    Q: "In the same context, are you aware that the Iranian revolutionary guards have sent special operations -- special forces inside Iraq, and if they did so, what's the Pentagon reaction on that?"
    REAR ADM. KIRBY: "I've seen the press reporting on that, Joe, but I have nothing to confirm that there are Iranian special forces inside Iraq.. . .The only thing I would say, and it's been said before, is that you know, we encourage all of Iraq's neighbors, including Iran, to play a constructive role in, you know, in -- in Iraq, clearly, and what -- given the challenges they're facing, but also in the region."

    and later . . .

    Q: "So you said you want Iran to be responsible, and prior to this answer, you said they should play a constructive role. . . . Military involvement by Iran be constructive or not in this situation now?"
    REAR ADM. KIRBY: "Look, I'm not -- I'm not going to write an action plan, you know, for the Iranian government to play in the region. . . . But Iraq and Iran are sovereign states. The degree to which they talk to one another and make decisions, that is between the leaders of those two sovereign states."

    I do not yet see a transcript posted for todays press briefing, if they had one.

    One thing that struck me on the briefer, Rear Admiral Kirby, is that he may have been a bit nervous. Like one of my high school age granddaughters he used the words 'you know' over fifty times during the Q&A. Perhaps Public Speaking 101 is in order for the DoD Press Secretary.

  10. To all, esp. Chief,
    What nobody is discussing is Saudi role in the invasion of Iraq.
    Why are we calling it a insurgency when we have no solid idea of the make up of the fighters.
    The key point is that Saudi A is not our ally , or is not acting like one in this scenario.
    There is a serious fissure here in US policy. If we bomb the Syrian gov't troops then we are supporting the folks that are attacking IRQ. Additionally i see the Sunni state trying to establish itself as a Saudi effort to establish a buffer zone re;IRQ/Iran.If this happens then why don't we allow Russia to do the same in the Ukraine?
    I see SA and US having a serious split some day soon. How long can we pretend that SA is an ally? Same for Pakistan.
    I call this entire scenario=the dueling pipe lines.
    I also say that no matter how it plays out ,no matter what the US will be at a strategic deficit.
    Where does the bulk of SA oil go these days?
    What if they start accepting currencies other than the $ for their product?
    Well those are my happy thoughts for a sunday morning coming down.
    jim hruska

  11. @ Ranger: "What nobody is discussing is Saudi role in the invasion of Iraq."

    And Qatar.

    Some say Turkey, but hasn't their economy tanked during this crisis?

    As pure speculation I have to ask who is financing the Iraqi Bathists that seem to be the allies of ISIS/ISIL? Does anyone but me smell Putin trying to distract world attention from the Ukraine?

  12. jim: We can keep up the pretense as long as possible, because otherwise we'd have to accept that the U.S. HAS no "allies" in the Middle East outside Israel, which effectively makes the U.S. the new Byzantines, trying to keep the Crusader State(s) viable while intriguing with their Muslim enemies. I don't see any sense to this other than the whole problem that we made for ourselves in '48. The State Department (which had actual "area experts" in those days, old-school Middle East hands that had been immersed in the region for decades - this before the "who lost China" debacle and the defenstration of State) warned Truman that he was losing the entire Muslim Middle East and he did. Frankly there's no real good options for the U.S., that was the point behind the whole "Real men want to go to Tehran" business - Iraq was going to remake the Middle East into something where the U.S. could deal with Tel Aviv and Riyadh and Tehran and Baghdad and Cairo and not have to worry about picking one side or another...

    Y'know what REALLY chapped me? Fucking Mitt Romney. Friday he went on record as saying:

    ...all we’ve fought for in Iraq is on the cusp, potentially, of vanishing."


    We, you worthless fucker? We?

    Show me the butcher's bill for the Romney household, you vampire sonofabitch.

    Just when I thought this nonsense couldn't piss me off any further.

  13. Chief,
    I'll play along here.
    Ok so Mitt is an ass hole and none of his DNA ever stepped into a fighting position.
    I get it,but how is HRC any different?
    How does the policy between the 2 differ?
    HRC wants the US to be vigorous in our world leadership,but the 1st husband to be sure didn't want any of that when he was draft age.
    It's all a joke,and it's on all of us here at the pub.
    I'll have an IPA.That's a worthy product from the colonial past.
    A G&T will work also.
    There will never be a solution until we get a 2 party system.
    jim hruska


    The sad ting is the American public will not realize that the warmongers who wanted violent action against the Syrian government would have been helpful to the ISIS and staying relatively peaceful then was a wise choice by Obama.
    They won't remember this when the same warmongers will now sternly demand violent intervention against the ISIS in Iraq, by bombing.

    It's a civilizational failure if a country allows warmongers to pollute the airwaves while being proven wrong again and again.

  15. HRC is Secretary of State, jim. She's technically "in charge" of U.S. foreign policy which is, as I mentioned, wholly owned by the hawks - between their own drumbeating and their intimidation of the Obamites. So she's certainly guilty of not having the sack to tell Romney to STFU.

    Romney, on the other hand, is another finger on the fist of the coterie of idiots and grifters that got us into this fucking mess. Obama, for all his fuckups, got us out or as out as he could. You seem to keep want to beat this "both sides do it" drum and I will admit that in a lot of things and in a lot of ways both sides do. But not here and not now. This is a clearcut failure of what Sven points out - that the goddamn Right has been wrong again and again and because of "both sides do it" we don't tell them to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up.

  16. Bacevich was spot on. All too many Americans think "War Works". Thus, simply conduct enough war and we can straighten Iraq (Syria, Afghanistan, etc) out. Since the American mentality easily forgets yesterday's facts, it is immune to learning.

    I have made my peace with war protesters, to include those of the VN era. Many of them wanted no one sent in harm's way. However, I do have serious contempt for war mongers who are vociferously demanding that other people's loved ones be sent in harm's way which they and their family sit safely at home.

    Just before the invasion of Iraq, while drinking brews with a retired Admiral boating buddy who served as an Aviator in WWII, Korea and VN, he said something like, "When I was young and bold, I charged into harm's way and lost no sleep. Then I was promoted to lead others into harm's way and lost a little sleep. It was not until I was senior enough to be sending troops into harm's was that I knew the curse of sleepless nights. Why are we preparing for a senseless invasion?"

  17. And the corrolary of Al's "war works" point is that if you have one party that continually hammers on that "give war a chance" drum - and that's what the GOP and in particular the neconservative/national greatness wing of the party does - it tends to drown out everything else.

    Again, I yield to no one in my contempt for the modern Dems gutless unwillingness to stand up for sane foreign and domestic politicies. But there's a world of difference between the spineless nellie who stands by wringing his hands and the insane axe-murderer swinging the axe.

    I should add that my real hatred and contempt is reserved for the "liberal media", who in this situation are doing things like seeking out people like McCain, Romney, and even Dougie Fucking Feith - the "dumbest guy on the face of the planet", remember? - asking them for their opinions and then reporting them as if they mattered. One of the huge reasons that We the Sheeple believe that war works is because fuckers like those tell us they do and the stenographers of the public press report that as fact.

  18. To all,
    I completely agree with SO. If we bombed Syria then this would've freed up more fighters for the Sunny invasion of IRAQ.
    Now to Chief,
    Give me a break here, Dems are=war. WW1&2/Korea/RVN/ Undeclared theater war is a Truman product and we've been doing that ever since.These ain't small potatoes here,so don't hang the war thing on the right.They've just learned from the dem play book.Without Truman we would not have the template used in the pwot.
    One feature of man ,imo, is the ability to self delude and to forget painful reality.
    jim hruska

  19. Truman, jim? WW1? Korea? WTF?

    I'm not going to argue that whoever is in the Oval Office tends to use the tools of power forged by previous administrations. The Obama Administration is guilty as charged in that respect. But there's "undeclared war" and undeclared war, and you know as well as I do that it wasn't the D's that stampeded this country into open war in the Middle East. Carter had his chance in 1979 and passed on it. Obama had his chance in both Libya and Syria and passed on the one and did no more than check the pot on the other - and only because he was being cluster-bombed from his European allies. I'm not going to lick his Peace Prize, but he sure as hell hasn't been McCain on this, either...

    I'll give you this, though; Truman DID lead us here, in a sense, when he went all-in for Israel in '48. Just like Johnson signing the Civil Rights legislation and losing the Dixiecrats to the GOP, Truman "lost" pretty much every non-Israeli polity and public in the Middle East, and the "War on (Some People Who Use Some Kinds of) Terror" pretty much proceeds directly from that. But comparing what the Cheney Administration did in the Middle East to Truman in Korea is like comparing the guy who invented the flintlock to dropping nuclear weapons on cities. Yes, they both kill things. But...WTF, man?

    But keep banging that "both sides do it" drum. It makes a nice hollow sound.

  20. Chief,
    Truman didn't drop nuclear weapons.
    He dropped atomic and hydrogen weapons.
    I'm glad that u brought that point up.
    Doesn't the pwot pale in significance to that action?
    jim hruska

    1. Truman 'dropped' no hydrogen weapons at all.

      And the nuclear strikes on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were in the exact same league as the fire attacks on other cities.

    2. Apples and oranges (and nukes), jim.

      Truman dropped the bombs because a) the horrific casualties of Okinawa and the prospect of having to invade the Japanese mainland, and b) because his advisors were warning him about a Red Storm rising in the Asian mainland. They were, as Sven points out, similar to the LeMay fire raids but just a whole 'nother level of horror (and LeMay himself said after the war that had the Axis won he'd undoubtedly have hung for war crimes, so there's that...)

      And the bombings were in the context of WW2, a global pile of wartime horrors the, at least, WAS a conventional "wartime" that, once the Axis surrendered, ended.

      The "War on (Some Kinds of People Who Use Some Forms of) Terror" is massively different politically, militarily, and functionally from WW2. In terms of concentrated horror, it's nowhere near WW2. In political and economic (and military) terms it may actually be worse, in that it fully satisfies Sun Tzu's definition of a "prolonged war" that degrades the state that fights it. There is no "V-J Day" that an American administration could bomb its way towards, only a cancer eating away at the entire notion of "peacetime" versus "wartime".

      In that sense what the Bush and Obama Administrations have done and are doing are more corrosive to human society than any amount of nuclear death that Truman caused. Because we are accustoming ourselves, and the world, to the notion that any sort of political activity "we" don't like means that we get to use force against it; you wear your Osama bin Laden T-shirt and post fantasies about jihad on the Internet and in return we drop a bomb on your house and kill your whole family.

      There's something goofed up about that but I can't quite put my finger on it...

  21. I understand that the chattering classes of Washington are idiots and douche bags. They are also slow moving targets. I wonder if there are deeper things afoot.

    The world seems to be a bigger mess than it was a decade ago.
    Perhaps this picture might have something to do with it.

    Certainly, if you are spending more than 60% of your income on food (which a *lot* of poor people in the third world do) then a sustained price increase of 50% will certainly play havoc with your lifestyle. "Desperate" is a word that springs to mind.

    Furthermore, a lot of governments don't have the hard cash needed to cushion this rise. Egypt is/was a huge importer of wheat. Also, these days a lot of poor folk are urban, which makes them conveniently placed for malefactors to arm and organize them.

  22. Another thing I noticed about this the other day that kind of drives me a little batty:

    These ISIL/ISIS schlubs are basically Sunni Arabs who are fighting a regional factional war against Shia Arabs - the Maliki government in Baghdad and the Alawite government in Damascus.

    There is no real reason to assume that a) they have any sort of power base outside the Sunni portions of Iraq and Syria, or 2) any interest in pursuing such a power base. This is, so far as I can tell, a regional power struggle between factions that has been in large part kicked off by the destabilization of the Baathist Iraq and Alawite Syria that kept them in check - by keeping them down in Syria and in power in Iraq...

    To turn this into "OMFG An Al-Qaeda Nation in the Desert!!!!" as a shit-ton of the reports I'm reading, and damn near all the "conservative" op-eds and bloviating, do is to seriously misrepresent what the hell is going on here, and make possible a hugely mistaken response to what the hell might happen.

    It's entirely possible that the Sunnis are going to become the New Kurds and, like the old Kurds, spend the next five generations making trouble in the Tigris region. But the notion that somehow this is the Next 9/11 - which seems to be taking hold in the fantasyland that is public opinion in the U.S. - is ridiculous but seems unstoppable.

    And, as seydlitz keeps hammering away on, seems certain to produce an entire series of counterproductive and ridiculous responses from the U.S.

    As my HQ-52 driver used to say; what a fuckin' fucked-up fuckstory.

  23. My old man - an FDR fan - never liked Truman and opted for Ike in 52. He called the Truman Doctrine a license for a 'freaking meddler'. Everyone brings up Ike as perpetrator of the 53 coup in Iran but wasn't Truman's administration equally guilty of the Syrian coup of 49?

    And wasn't it JFK's administration that engineered the Baathist coup of 49 in Iraq? Which was a shame because Abd al-Karim Qasim the ousted PM was half Sunni and half Shia with also some Kurdisn ancestry. That may have been Iraqs last chance for multi-sectarian and multi-ethnic peace. Or maybe not who knows?

    But that is all ancient history. I do agree with FDChief that the current crisis in Iraq is due to Bush-Cheney whacking the hornets nest

    More importantly I have to ask WTH is an HQ-52?

  24. Dunno how the Army does it today, mike, but in my day each vehicle had an ID that was a letter(s) and a number. So the battalion commander's quarter-ton as "HQ-1" and the A Company 1SG's rig was "A-2" So HQ-52 was one of my GAMA Goat ambulances.

    No argument that fiddle-fucking in the Middle East has been a bipartisan game. Ike also ramrodded the '58 incursion into Lebanon and the '56 Suez incident, although that may go down in history as the last time a U.S. government told Israel to sling it's friggin' hook.

    And I'll disagree with you about this stuff being ancient history; the Middle East is like Belfast where "ancient history" is the 12th Century. I've talked to Iranians and to them Mossadegh was like yesterday; the fact that Ike helped shove the Pahlevis on them STILL pisses them off. The recent round of clusterfuckery has a lot to do with the fucking idiot Bushies knocking the Saddam stopper off the Iraqi bottle but the place in general has all the usual colonial problems - an area where politics was either still in the tribal stages or had been short-circuited by imperial (i.e. Ottoman) despotism was suddenly overrun with Europeans that redrew the maps, threw hostile or at least prickly tribes together and dragged them technologically into the 20th Century before they had a chance to get there politically, economically, socially, or theologically...

    Is there any wonder the place is a fucking trainwreck? And we want back IN? WTF?

    Anyway, interesting little precis on our ISIS/ISIL characters here:

    Bottom line on this for me is:

    1. These jokers are a hell of a danger to the region but little or none to the U.S. in teh conventional sense and very little even in the unconventional, "terrorist" sense. What they realy want is a Sunni theocracy in the Middle East, not in Sheboygan.

    2. There's no real way for the U.S. to re-establish stability in this region simply because a) we can't do it alone, and b) the regional "proxies" we might work with have their own interests, most of which conflict or at least don't line up well with ours.

    In short?


  25. I figured it had something to do with that amphibious-wannabee monstrosity. Beats me why DoD would buy a wheeled vehicle from an aerospace company?

    Ike was on the righteous side during the Suez crisis. And the 58 intervention in Lebanon was requested by the Lebanese President

    I agree with you on your points 1 and 2

  26. The only problem with Operation Blue Bat, mike, is that the "Lebanese President" was a joker named Chamoun who was widely seen as a) a tool of the West and b) a Christian Falangist by the Muslim Lebanese. His election was widely suspected of having been engineered by chicanery and he immediately defenstrated many of the muslim ministers in the government. The Marines in ;58 were seen much as they were in '83; as just a bunch of hired guns for the Christian faction. The only thing that '58 accomplished was the replacement of Chamoun with Fuad Chehab, whose nonsectarian style and political intelligence managed to help Lebanon limp along another decade or so...

    So for all that Ike was right at Suez Lebanon was just another poncho-stepping in the Middle East, not much different from Mossadegh or Qasim...

  27.'s where I open myself up for the big hammer.

    I'm going to opine that there is little to be lost and possibly some modest gain in using USN/USAF tactical air support for the Iraqi Army against these Sunnis.

    First of all, it should help stiffen the IA and help give the Baghdad government enough space to pull itself together and push the ISIL/ISIS back out into the Sunni deserts. These guys don't play well with others; they're essentially fighting the Muslim Wars of Religion and if unchecked seem very likely to try to turn the Tigris region into Germany circa 1638.

    Second, it's not the same thing as the idiotic bombing-for-peace-and-freedom thing in Libya or the goofy idea of bombing Syria in hopes that something good will happen. If you want to compare it to something somewhere else I'd compare it to Operation Deliberate Force in 1995, with the Sunnis as the Bosnian Serbs and the IA as the Croats. It's a straightforward CAS mission, with the USAF/USN acting as the Iraqi Air Force.

    Third it gives us a reason to work with the Iranians, and hopefully opens up lines of communication that eventually get us out of the Saudi ghetto and further towards recognizing Iran and its role as one of the regional powers in the Gulf.

    Don't get me wrong; I don't see this as doing something "good". It's just damage control. But the ISIS guys are really bad news for stability in the Muslim world, and the worse they do the better for everyone there and (since troubles there have a way of leaking out...) probably those around them. I'm not advocating it or looking forward to it.

    But if it happens? I wouldn't be violently opposed to it.

  28. I'll do you the honor of hammering at you chief Iraq does not need American airstrikes. The IQAF is already hitting ISIS with MI-35s using S8 rockets and Shtrum missiles and Cessnas with Hellfire missiles.

    Plus they are getting F-16s from Uncle Sugar

    Our media has panicked and is falling for ISIS propaganda and also for Maliki et al trying for more US blood and treasure

    We do not need to be seen taking sides in a religious war no matter how bad one side is

    And Maliki's side is just as bloodthirsty Hae you already forgotten their use of Black and Decker interrogation aids on the Sunni of Baghdad

  29. Chief,
    Who put the US in charge of stability in the Arab world? When did DOD become a security force for wayward arab security? I believe we should applaud and celebrate every time they pop a cap on one another. Isn't that a more cost effective way to play our corner?
    Why not concentrate on my hometown which is in need of stability of every flavor?
    In my world when the Iraqi gov't told us to pack it in then that's what we did and should continue to do.
    Now having said that i predict that we will bomb in Irq,but doing so is an act of insanity.