Iraq

What exactly is going on?






143 replies
  1. 1
    Hawes says:

    I believe “Freedom is messy” is the operative lie at the moment.

    Oops, sorry, in fact this is all Obama’s fault for getting Bergdahl back.

  2. 2
    Ash Can says:

    Starts with “cluster,” ends with “fuck.”

  3. 3
    Violet says:

    Democracy is flourishing. The oil is paying for the war. We’re being welcomed as liberators.

  4. 4
    BGinCHI says:

    We won’t know what is going on in Iraq until we drop Dick Cheney from a helicopter to see what he can find out.

  5. 5
    japa21 says:

    What is going on is exactly what anybody with a functioning brain and any knowledge of the area who wasn’t paralyzed by the fear mongering of the WH knew would happen if we invaded Iraq.
    For all his flaws, most of which weren’t really any worse than those of, say, the leadership of Saudi Arabia, Saddam kept the region stable, kept Iraq stable, allowed more religious freedom that most countries in the area, had an educated populace.
    Yes, there were major undercurrents of sectarian tension, but he was the cork in that bottle. Bush took the cork out and everything ensued.
    Of course, Obama will get blamed for cutting and running, even though he was honoring the agreement Bush made with Iraq.

  6. 6
    WereBear says:

    At one time the British drew a line on a map…

  7. 7
    Hawes says:

    @BGinCHI: “I am interested in your ideas and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.”

  8. 8
    Chickamin Slam says:

    Mission accomplished!

  9. 9
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @japa21:

    What is going on is exactly what anybody with a functioning brain and any knowledge of the area who wasn’t paralyzed by the fear mongering of the WH knew would happen if we invaded Iraq.

    Pretty much.

  10. 10
    Alex S. says:

    Sadly, those whose predicted that the muslim fundamentalists would take over as soon as the foreign troops leave the country were right. But what was the alternative, endless occupation?

  11. 11
    AnonPhenoma says:

    Iraqi Winter?

  12. 12
    Jim C. says:

    At this point, I don’t know and I don’t care. Yeah, it may be a bit shortsided given a failed nation state that is filled with religious lunatics with guns that hate our guts isn’t exactly a good thing and will probably come back to haunt us long term.

    But a good poker player knows when to fold a shitty hand and that was an awful long time ago with Iraq. To carry the tortured analogy further, it was a hand that we shouldn’t have been playing to begin with and we compounded the mistake by throwing more money into the pot on the hopes for a longshot river card.

  13. 13
  14. 14
    Bob says:

    Obama has squandered the hard won victory of GWB. We used to ask “who lost China?”

  15. 15
    MattF says:

    Who coulda known? Isn’t it obvious that when you give people freedom they become well=behaved FOX-watching Republicans? And if they don’t… Well, you just shoot them.

  16. 16
    nancy darling says:

    “What exactly is going on?” Exactly what Brent Scowcroft, Anthony Zinni, Eric Shinseki and a host of others said would happen without a PERMANENT occupying force of a hundred thousand or so soldiers.
    Pierce covered it today. In the comments there, someone asks, “Who will ask the last man to die for a mistake.” To which McCain and Graham have replied, “I will”. Their little sidekick, Kelly Ayotte chimed in, “Let me ask. Let me.”

    http://www.mccain.senate.gov/p.....d09d8f65dd

  17. 17
    Biscuits says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Yes, this is what must be done, STAT. Instead, we’ll be treated to his ponderings on Obama’s failures on all news gab fests.

  18. 18
    raven says:

    You mean it didn’t mean shit? No.

  19. 19
    raven says:

    You mean it don’t mean nuthin? Oh no.

  20. 20
    GregB says:

    We told everyone in the region to suck on this. We drained the swamp and now the region is flourishing with Jeffersonian democracy. Just what Bill Kristol promised.

  21. 21
    Mudge says:

    The ISIS are exercising their second amendment rights.

  22. 22
    raven says:

    John McCain, head of the Committee for the Re-invasion of Vietnam?

  23. 23
    Roxy says:

    John Cole, you just got written up in Daily Kos by Kos himself. From one veteran to another he, you and I no longer feel the military is a good place for future generations. Here’s the link:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....it-brother

  24. 24
    Patrick says:

    Are we being “greeted as liberators” yet?

  25. 25
    Morzer says:

    A country bodged together out of three mutually loathing groups and held together by force is now following its demographic destiny once that force is no longer present.

  26. 26
    JPL says:

    Iran has offered to help Iraq rid their country of the militants.
    Who will benefit from this good news?

  27. 27
    Redshift says:

    Alexandria Balloon Juice Meetup! 7pm Tonight!

    We will be at Murphy’s Grand Irish Pub, 713 King Street, near the corner of Columbus Street.
    http://murphyspub.com/murphys/alexandria/

    There is a free shuttle from the King Street Metro, the Old Town Trolley. It only runs until 10:15 on weeknights, but we’ll have enough locals with cars to get people back to the Metro.

    Murphy’s has great food in addition to drinks.

    We have a table reserved upstairs under the name “Balloon Juice.” I’ll be there by 7, and I’ll try to pick up a green balloon, but our spot shouldn’t be hard to find.

    Hope to see everyone there! (Well, everyone local who’s expressed interest, at least.)

  28. 28
    Morzer says:

    @Mudge:

    Over-exercising them. They even take the part about the well-regulated militia seriously. How proud Antonin Scalia and John Roberts must feel today!

  29. 29

    Almost a century later, we are still dealing with the aftermath of the War to end all wars.

    Also too, why did a overwhelming number of normally sane people go along with Bush in this misadventure is something I still fail to understand.

  30. 30
    raven says:

    The 82nd is ready to go!

  31. 31
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Does that put us on a glide path for the war to end the war to end all wars?

  32. 32
    PaulW says:

    Specifically, the sectarian split we figured was going to happen the second the US pulled out all military support has finally taken hold. It’s just it was on a time-delay.

    Making the situation worse is the ongoing Syrian Civil War, where the fighting is spilling over into Iraq. Indeed, the forces taking over Mosul are called ISIS as they hope to form an Islamist state out of Iraq and Syria – and the refugee crisis out of one nation – Syria – is now exploding into a new refugee crisis in Iraq as Mosul’s 500,000 residents have mostly fled.

    Our response to the situation is limited, and depends entirely on how well the Iraqi government can bring their military back up to fighting trim… which is probably not something to hope for.

    P.S. the next neocon complaining that Obama should never have left Iraq ought to be sent packing to Iraq and fight on the front lines of this new war. You wanted us in Iraq, you lying sonsofbitches? You’re in Iraq, and good luck fighting your own damn messes.

  33. 33
    PaulW says:

    Specifically, the sectarian split we figured was going to happen the second the US pulled out all military support has finally taken hold. It’s just it was on a time-delay.

    Making the situation worse is the ongoing Syrian Civil War, where the fighting is spilling over into Iraq. Indeed, the forces taking over Mosul are called ISIS as they hope to form an Islamist state out of Iraq and Syria – and the refugee crisis out of one nation – Syria – is now exploding into a new refugee crisis in Iraq as Mosul’s 500,000 residents have mostly fled.

    Our response to the situation is limited, and depends entirely on how well the Iraqi government can bring their military back up to fighting trim… which is probably not something to hope for.

    P.S. the next neocon complaining that Obama should never have left Iraq ought to be sent packing to Iraq and fight on the front lines of this new war. You wanted us in Iraq, you lying sonsofbitches? You’re in Iraq, and good luck fighting your own damn messes.

  34. 34

    @Morzer: Putin does seem to want a do over.

  35. 35
    Patrick says:

    @Morzer:

    I’m pretty sure that their intent was for white folks only to use that 2nd amendment right.

  36. 36
    Cacti says:

    The warring factions that Saddam Hussein was able to keep at bay have broken into open conflict.

  37. 37
    Amir Khalid says:

    Commenter Bob In Portland must have a theory he’d like to share …

  38. 38

    @Redshift: I has a jealous. I used to live in MD not that long a ago.

  39. 39
    Morzer says:

    @Patrick:

    Originalism: it washes the stained undergarments of conservatism whiter than white!

  40. 40

    @Amir Khalid: America sucks, all hail Putin!
    (was that a good BIP imitation?)

  41. 41
    Patrick says:

    @PaulW:

    They are free to complain all they want. But how about they go ahead and pay for THEIR mess and THEIR war with their OWN money. Why should I have to pay for THEIR idiotic war that was completely unnecessary and made us less safe?

  42. 42
    Morzer says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    At length, no doubt.

  43. 43
    KG says:

    @Ash Can: i would go with “feces meeting the ventilation” but yours works well too.

  44. 44
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    No, it was too grammatically correct and much too terse.

  45. 45

    Are we all Iraqis now?

  46. 46
    MattF says:

    It occurs to me that someone should ask Jeb! what he thinks about all this.

    “So, Governor, when your brother pranced around in a flight suit, is this what he was thinking of?”

  47. 47
    Chyron HR says:

    The noble forces of anti-fascism are crushing the Ukrainian Iraqi Nazis. We are not yet sure which side is which, though.

  48. 48
    JPL says:

    @Patrick: Maybe you didn’t get the message but war pays for itself.

  49. 49
    Morzer says:

    @JPL:

    It even delivers a stimulus to John McCain’s package.

  50. 50
    mattH says:

    @BGinCHI: I’ll volunteer for that mission

  51. 51
    pharniel says:

    It’s even worse than that because it looks like ISIS is the Saudi proxy in the Syrian Mess that’s decided to try to take half of Iraq. Lord help them if they keep attacking the Turks, Kurds and Iranians all at the same time.

    That’s generally a recipe to get ‘squished’ and it would also mean half of Iraq moves back to Mother Persia, Turkey tries to take Kurdistan and the whole place gets even worse.

    What’s really bad is if ISIS does make a move on Turkey they could invoke NATO.

  52. 52
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: We went mad together.

    A shame we’re not capable of waking up together.

  53. 53
    BGinCHI says:

    There must be a saying about those who do not learn from the lessons of history.

    I can’t put my finger on it.

  54. 54
    David Koch says:

    “Bring it on”

  55. 55
    Tommy says:

    My father taught warfare. His job. I know he would not laugh at me if I stole a line from the movie Princess Bride.

    You don’t start a land war in central Asia.

    I often see pics from Afghanistan. I think two things. The first is my gosh that he a beautiful place. I’d like to hike it. The second is I got no idea how to fight nor defend the place.

  56. 56
    Morzer says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Are doomed to “suck on this” again?

  57. 57
    Morzer says:

    @Tommy:

    Never get involved in a land war in Asia

  58. 58
    Fair Economist says:

    This isn’t primarily about the sectarian splits (unlike the civil war earlier), because the Sunnis are fleeing ISIS areas too. The clue is that ISIS is active in both Syria and Iraq. It’s primarily about billions of Qatari and Saudi money buying arms for a wide array of Sunni fundamentalists, including these charmers. It’s unclear whether money intended for somewhat less reprehensible groups got diverted, or whether this money is coming from ultrafundamentalists in the Gulf State and this is the intended purpose.

    In the end it’s all being funded by oil. When we start taking real steps to stop climate change and really cut back on oil use, this will stop.

  59. 59
    greennotGreen says:

    You know how when you watch teenagers growing up, you want to protect them, but you can’t make their mistakes for them? I think countries are like that. We can’t just swoop in and hand a country democracy. It has to grow there, it has to be earned there. The people’s sense of themselves as a nation has to develop from within.

    Afghanistan I didn’t have a problem with as a short war. That was revenge and we should have gotten in and gotten out because it was going to go to hell as soon as we left anyway.

    Iraq was a clusterfuck from the word go.

  60. 60
    pharniel says:

    @Tommy: Sadly the only way is to do what Ghengis Khan did – you either convert the government or you wipe it clean of life.

    I’m pretty sure that was the Samarkand plan and they’re the only two people to successfully conquer and hold the place.

  61. 61
    beltane says:

    Invading Iraq for shits and giggles (and profit) was far and away the worst foreign policy decision this country has ever made, and that is saying a lot. There is no pleasure in saying “I told you so” to those who fell for the con job, there’s just a lot of anger at the fact that the guilty parties have never, and will never, been held accountable for their crimes.

  62. 62
    Morzer says:

    @Fair Economist:

    When we start taking real steps to stop climate change and really cut back on oil use, this will stop.

    The Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds were fighting each other, often with extreme hatred, long before oil became a factor. Oil money may have jazzed up the conflict recently, but it certainly isn’t the prime mover.

  63. 63
    pharniel says:

    I’m just wondering if ISIS will stop at the Saudi border or if once they start getting that sweet, sweet oil money they’ll pull a Saddam and start to lust after Kuwait or Saudi Arabia.

  64. 64
    Amir Khalid says:

    @BGinCHI:
    It’s a pity, especially since this particular lesson of history is plain common sense: If you interfere in other people’s quarrels, you cannot win. So stay the hell out of them.

  65. 65
    Bob In Portland says:

    @Amir Khalid: Who’d have predicted?

    From the former US ambassador to Croatia. Didn’t Croatia used to be part of some bigger country?

    Divide and conquer.

  66. 66
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Morzer:

    Either way, I give you….Wait for it…The Mongols!

  67. 67
    sherparick says:

    @Redshift: I wish I could make it tonight. I hope to make the next one.

  68. 68
    KG says:

    @Tommy: there’s a reason why it’s been known as the Graveyard of Empires for a few thousand years.

  69. 69
    beltane says:

    Somewhere in hell, Saddam Hussein is laughing at all this.

  70. 70
    🌷 Martin says:

    What exactly is going on?

    Not sure, but since everything was fine while you were there, I’m blaming you for this.

  71. 71
    James E. Powell says:

    The inevitable result of Obama’s Apology Tour™

  72. 72
    BGinCHI says:

    @Morzer: Is that from Andrew Dice Clay’s book on Clausewitz?

  73. 73
    Bob In Portland says:

    @BGinCHI: “Those who don’t learn from history repeatedly ignore it at Balloon Juice.”

  74. 74
    Morzer says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    Whenever I want to really fuck up a civilization, I play as the Tea Party faction.

  75. 75
    elm says:

    Surely the next six months will be crucial.

  76. 76
    Just One More Canuck says:

    @JPL: John McCain?

  77. 77
    Morzer says:

    @BGinCHI:

    Not that I know of. I was just borrowing from the Mustache of Understanding.

  78. 78
    Tommy says:

    @beltane: Yes. Yes.Yes. I will admit at the time I thought the idea was a good idea. I was that liberal. I can/will admit it. The thing I learned, I will NEVER make that mistake again.

  79. 79
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @Morzer:

    Well played. Unless, that is, you’re a Scotsman, in which case: Well plaid.

  80. 80
    James E. Powell says:

    @pharniel:

    Don’t forget Timur.

  81. 81
    Morzer says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again):

    I am no True Scotsman, although I do sometimes partake of the Salmond of Doubt.

  82. 82
    Suffern ACE says:

    Seeing as this group was carrying out some pretty major car bomb attacks in the months before we finally withdrew, I can see how they became so popular.

  83. 83
  84. 84
    Morzer says:

    @James E. Powell:

    He was so lame! You just Khan’t compare him to Genghis.

  85. 85
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Bob In Portland: Didn’t Croatia used to be part of some bigger country?

    Briefly. For far less time than it was an independent kingdom or in voluntary union with Hungary.

  86. 86
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Or Alexander, or…Well, a lot of others before the Brits failed in the 19th Century.

  87. 87
    Jewish Steel says:

    What exactly is going on?

    You get to move your piece forward one square in The Game Of Christian Eschatology.

  88. 88
    beltane says:

    I know how to save Iraq. We can airlift the entire Beltway media rabble to Iraq, armed with assault rifles and Bush administration talking points, and let them sort things out. I’m sure they’ll do a splendid job.

  89. 89
    max says:

    What exactly is going on?

    @PaulW: Specifically, the sectarian split we figured was going to happen the second the US pulled out all military support has finally taken hold. It’s just it was on a time-delay.

    Making the situation worse is the ongoing Syrian Civil War, where the fighting is spilling over into Iraq. Indeed, the forces taking over Mosul are called ISIS as they hope to form an Islamist state out of Iraq and Syria – and the refugee crisis out of one nation – Syria – is now exploding into a new refugee crisis in Iraq as Mosul’s 500,000 residents have mostly fled.

    That’s basically right, Cole. To elaborate some: Iraq is Shia in the south, Sunni Arab (20%) in the center and west and Sunni Kurds in the north/northeast. The Kurds want to be their own country, the Sunni want to band the Sunni together, and the Shia don’t want to be under the thumb of the Sunni, which they were when Hussein was around. Once he left, centrifugal started tearing the country apart. In the current situation, the Arab Sunnis from eastern Syria have managed to get organized and armed (by a mix of Turkey, Jordan & Saudi), and they’ve lost traction against Assad, so they’ve switched gears and started expanding to their east, linking up with the various Sunni remnants that were living under the domination of the Shia government in Iraq.

    The Sunni don’t like Maliki, and his army is not very good, so once ISIS got going, they got on a roll as the Shia army simply crumbled. The fall of Mosul is a problem – it basically started out Kurdish, but Saddam tried to Arabize the place, so it wasn’t under the control of the Peshmerga, but the central government, so ISIS has taken a city of Kurds. This is going to be a problem for them. Any further in that direction, and they’ll be fighting the Peshmerga and I’d expect them to lose.

    Gaining ground in the Sunni areas should probably be pretty easy for them. The fight for control of Baghdad is going to be ugly, since neither side really dominates the place ethnically. The Shia should not have problems hanging on south of there.

    Essentially the big desert country of North Sunniland is emerging from underneath the Sykes-Pycot lines imposed by the old colonial powers. Unfortunately, these guys are not Baathist (leftish) but hard right Wahhabbiite types, so they’re gonna wanna fight everybody, including us.

    This whole effort to overthrow Assad has soured, and we’re backing our Not-Enemies against our Not-Friends.

    max
    [‘The whole ‘let’s make the Middle East pro-American and democratic’ is ass over teakettle at this point.’]

  90. 90
    MattF says:

    Re: Cole’s question, here’s Juan Cole:

    http://www.juancole.com/2014/0.....story.html

  91. 91
    David Koch says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: No, no, no. It’s because of Obamacare. Also too, teh Ghey.

  92. 92
    Tommy says:

    @KG: Their national sport is a severed goat head in a sack that is played with like Polo. I recall asking my father how you deal with something like that. He said you don’t.

  93. 93

    COIN doesn’t work unless you plan on full time occupation forever or just making the place a colony.

  94. 94
    catclub says:

    @pharniel:

    It’s even worse than that because it looks like ISIS is the Saudi proxy in the Syrian Mess that’s decided to try to take half of Iraq. Lord help them if they keep attacking the Turks, Kurds and Iranians all at the same time.

    The Saudis are the rich princeling who cannot be punished for their misdeeds, so others must suffer.

    I was about to point out that Saddam took his country to war against Iran, which the Saudis did not do,
    but they are much more the ones egging on the ‘lets you and him fight’ approach, like US neocon chickenhawks (but I repeat myself).

  95. 95
    Belafon says:

    @Bob In Portland: We keep trying to correct you, but you just won’t listen.

  96. 96
    beltane says:

    The Romans and then Byzantines expended huge amounts of resources engaging in centuries of inconclusive warfare with the Parthians, who lived in what is now Iraq. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R.....thian_Wars

  97. 97
    Suffern ACE says:

    Yeah. Ummm. At some point this isn’t really Bush’s fault or Obama’s or Carter’s. Although the narrative will be “If Obama would have funneled weapons to those moderates they would totally be winning right now”.

    I don’t think ISIS is a Gulf State or Saudi group, btw. Although I’d be interested in finding out what evidence there is that they are.

  98. 98
    Morzer says:

    @beltane:

    The Byzantines fought the Sassanids, who had destroyed the Parthian Arsacids.

  99. 99
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @raven:

    John McCain, head of the Committee for the Re-invasion of Vietnam?

    Can’t spell Committee for the Re-invasion of Vietnam without CRAVEN.

  100. 100
    Fair Economist says:

    @Morzer:

    The Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds were fighting each other, often with extreme hatred, long before oil became a factor. Oil money may have jazzed up the conflict recently, but it certainly isn’t the prime mover.

    War is on the decline in the modern world.The actors in question were doing pretty well the past few years, until the oil countries gave the local nuts a few billion in small arms and ammunition. And now they’re *all* running from ISIS.

  101. 101

    One commonality between Iraq and yesterday’s upset win by Brat. Clueless Beltway Media is clueless.

  102. 102
    Morzer says:

    @Fair Economist:

    The point is that the local nuts had hated each other for centuries. The loathing between Sunni and Shiite goes back to the early days of Islam – and the Kurds have been trying to establish their own nation/homeland for centuries – while being kicked around by everyone else in this drama, plus the Turks. Sure, the outside funding may have added some resources to the conflict – but it didn’t create it.

  103. 103
    Mandalay says:

    @Tommy:

    Their national sport is a severed goat head in a sack that is played with like Polo. I recall asking my father how you deal with something like that. He said you don’t.

    I think you and/or your dad are a bit confused. It’s the carcass of a dead animal, not the head.

    And as for dealing with it, fox hunting, cock fighting and bull fighting, where the “sport” requires live animals, seem far worse to me.

  104. 104
    fidelio says:

    @Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again): Alexander’s solution was to marry locally. THat way he had a base tied to him.

    This is not a practical procedure at the current time.

  105. 105
    beltane says:

    @Morzer: Something similar will likely happen again, with modern Iran being roughly equivalent to the Sassanid empire. It’s not fashionable to say it, but a strong, stable Iran/Persia is a good thing for the entire region.

  106. 106
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    So, Eric Cantor is the first domino to fall to al-Qaeda? Or did al-Qaeda just win the morning in Virginia? I am never sure what Politico will say these days.

  107. 107
    Morzer says:

    @beltane:

    It might be a good thing – but it’s not likely to be achieved. The Sassanids had their own issues with Christians and Mazdakites and a restless upper nobility, but they don’t seem to have had quite the same level of ethnic and religious tensions that make Iraq into a country that has all the inherent unity of 3 angry cats in a bag.

  108. 108
    Fair Economist says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I don’t think ISIS is a Gulf State or Saudi group, btw. Although I’d be interested in finding out what evidence there is that they are.

    They’re certainly not officially. At the same time, their resurgence coincides with the oil states pouring billions into arming people of very similar religious/political beliefs, with minimal controls on the money. That’s not a coincidence.

    The official Saudi and Qatari governments don’t like these particular people. The question is whether these folks got their funding because a) there was so much sloshing around it was easy to get or b) because similarly-minded people in Saudi Arabia and Qatar are using the governmental funding as cover. The Al-Qaida sympathizers in the Gulf states aren’t in power, but some are still quite rich.

  109. 109
    catclub says:

    @fidelio:

    Alexander’s solution was to marry locally

    Marry locally, fuck globally.

  110. 110
    Morzer says:

    @catclub:

    You make him sound like a Chinese party official with a wife in Hong Kong and a couple of mistresses tucked away in Sichuan and Fujian.

  111. 111
    skerry says:

    @Tommy: I think you are thinking of Afghanistan’s national sport, Buzkhasi.

    I don’t know about an Iraqi sport with a goat’s head and horses. They like soccer.

  112. 112
    James E. Powell says:

    If only the country had elected John McCain. He’d go over there, tell them to stop the bullshit, and they would. They really would. Right?

  113. 113
    The Dangerman says:

    I don’t know the details about Iraq, but I got money FOX will place the blame on Hillary.

  114. 114
    catclub says:

    @Fair Economist: I am sure it is a complete accident that all the Al Qaidas and ISIS groups are Wahabist, and the center of Wahabist power is Saudi Arabia.

  115. 115
    cmorenc says:

    @BGinCHI:

    We won’t know what is going on in Iraq until we drop Dick Cheney from a helicopter to see what he can find out.

    Dropping Dick Cheney from a helicopter in Iraq is a splendid idea.

  116. 116
    Morzer says:

    @James E. Powell:

    Well, there’s always Lindsey Graham. I am sure he could wag his forefinger at them to great effect.

  117. 117
    catclub says:

    @Morzer: The recent news from DNA analysis on how successful Genghis Khan was at passing on his genes is … remarkable.

  118. 118
    Morzer says:

    @catclub:

    He wasn’t just a military genius. He was militantly genetic as well.

  119. 119
    Kropadope says:

    @cmorenc: Parachute, no parachute?

  120. 120
    Bubblegum Tate says:

    @The Dangerman:

    I got money FOX will place the blame on Hillary.

    I bet I can write the teasers for Hannity’s next few shows:

    “Was Hillary asleep at the switch again? Our guest Michelle Malkin discusses the Secretary of State’s role in the ISIS uprising.”

    “What did Hillary know? David Limbaugh says she was warned that Mosul was going to fall and did nothing about it.”

    “Shocking new allegations that Hillary Clinton was arming ISIS via the embassy in Benghazi”

  121. 121
    WaterGirl says:

    @Morzer: Good one. Even if it did make me think eewww afterwards.

  122. 122
    catclub says:

    @Kropadope: I was thinking of a vertical transfer from one flying helicopter to another.

  123. 123
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Kropadope:

    Parachute, no parachute?

    Ça m’est égal.

  124. 124
    Suffern ACE says:

    @catclub: The group apparently started to overthrow the Jordanian kingdom. Don’t get me wrong, the money came from somewhere. But does overthrowing Jordan sound like the kind of thing that the Saudi government would think is in their interest?

  125. 125
    WaterGirl says:

    Is it possible that the president will say “not our problem”?

  126. 126
    The Dangerman says:

    @Bubblegum Tate:

    “Shocking new allegations that Hillary Clinton was arming ISIS via the embassy in Benghazi”

    With weapons personally delivered by Bowe Bergdahl AND his Dad.

  127. 127
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Didn’t Croatia used to be part of some bigger country?

    @Bob In Portland: Christ, the lack of historic knowledge you’d have to possess to post a comment like this makes the mind reel.

    Croatia was its own nation for over 1200 years. It was part of Yugoslavia for less than 90, and all of that was done at the point of a gun. First chance they had to leave, they took it.

  128. 128
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    To use an analogy, the Republicans thought it was a good idea to support the Tea Party. Whoops. You can’t always predict where Frankenstein’s monster will go once you unleash him.

  129. 129
    Morzer says:

    @Kropadope:

    Lead balloon.

  130. 130
    mainmati says:

    @Morzer: um that would be WW II .

  131. 131
  132. 132
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Green lead balloon? How’s that for a bipartisan centrist compromise we can all applaud?

  133. 133
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Morzer: Dude, you shouldn’t be using lead based paints.

  134. 134
    Morzer says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Dude, it’s Dick Cheney. He can have a green lead balloon and like it.

  135. 135
    gene108 says:

    If the civil war that started in Lebanon, in the 1970’s, is any guide Middle Eastern sectarian civil wars can rage for a really, really, really long time.

  136. 136
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Morzer: I’ll concede that point.

  137. 137
    max says:

    @Fair Economist: This isn’t primarily about the sectarian splits (unlike the civil war earlier),

    Yeah, it is.

    because the Sunnis are fleeing ISIS areas too.

    They’re fleeing because there’s going to a major bought fought in and around the area and they don’t want to die.

    The clue is that ISIS is active in both Syria and Iraq. It’s primarily about billions of Qatari and Saudi money buying arms for a wide array of Sunni fundamentalists, including these charmers. It’s unclear whether money intended for somewhat less reprehensible groups got diverted, or whether this money is coming from ultrafundamentalists in the Gulf State and this is the intended purpose.

    That part I agree with. At any rate, the Sunnis like Sunnis and they don’t like Shia and Kurds and they want to live under a Sunni government, so they’re (eventually) gonna do whatever it takes to get there. Veteran right-wing fundamentalists types are crazy enough to succeed at that kind of fighting, provided other things break their way.

    In the end it’s all being funded by oil. When we start taking real steps to stop climate change and really cut back on oil use, this will stop.

    I totally support ceasing to burn oil because it’s too useful for other things to waste on powering cars, but industrial civilization is never going to reduce oil usage fast enough to cut the price low enough to damage the Gulf states economically. It is useful for the US to stop depending on oil from the region so that we don’t feel the need to control the place – because we’re never going to fucking succeed at controlling the place.

    max
    [‘Not that total failure ever discourages a neo-con. In their reality, it never occurred.’]

  138. 138
    Tommy says:

    @Morzer: Are we having CIV references here? If so, well this site is cooler then I thought. Always thought it was kind of cool.

  139. 139
    Morzer says:

    @Tommy:

    Guilty as charged, although these days I am more into the Total War franchise with a bit of Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes thrown in.

  140. 140
    PhilbertDesanex says:

    What’s going on? The Arab world is in its version of the 30 Years War, plus the casual availability of long-range weaponry. If we are lucky (fat chance) it might stay limited to the general area, and hopefully will result in some boundaries set by the locals, and a Kurdistan. The oil will continue to flow and finance unspeakable horrors.

    BTW, Alexander went thu Afghan on the way to India, and on the way back, he went around. Just sayin’.

    +++++ DIck Cheney, Iraq, and a parachute I prep after +3

  141. 141
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @PhilbertDesanex:

    The Arab world is in its version of the 30 Years War, plus the casual availability of long-range weaponry.

    The Middle East- not just the Arab parts- has been engaged in its version of the Thirty Years War for about 1,300-1,400 years.

    BTW, Alexander went thu Afghan on the way to India, and on the way back, he went around.

    And he left one of his generals and some soldiers to govern in what’s now Afghanistan. More precisely, it spun off of the eastern provinces of the Hellenistic Seleucid Dynasty circa 250 BC (and expanded into northwest India in 125 BC). We remember it now as the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom. It lasted until 10 AD, longer than the Seleucid Dynasty lasted in Persia and the Hellenistic Ptolemaic Dynasty lasted in Egypt.

    Alexander could have swung back westward by retracing the route he took to the east. He decided to go south in order to conquer some Indian tribes along the Indian Ocean and take control of their land.

  142. 142
    Temporarily Max McGee (soon enough to be Andy K again) says:

    @fidelio:

    Alexander’s solution was to marry locally. THat way he had a base tied to him.

    Yeah, he married a local, but there was never a line of succession from him. He left orphaned empires and kingdoms which were ruled by dynasties that flowed from his generals/governors- and the kingdom of Greco-Bactria was the last one to fall.

  143. 143
    hrumpole says:

    Here’s a question about this (and a cold one). So now that the lid on sectarian violence is completely off, and it’s all Sunni all the time, then aren’t we moving back to a status quo ante–with the exception that everyone hates America even more than they used to. In other words, it looks like a Sunni minority is taking control of most of the state (‘cept for the Kurds, who will need an army of their own before long). This might be good news for John McCain, but what about Iran? I would think that some of the mullahs might want a scotch right about now. Iran now has an ornery and unstable neighbor to deal with (which they did before). They now have additional problems in Syria.

    So this is good news for Saudis (short-term), bad news for Iran, and possibly bad news for the U.S.?

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