Don’t pull that thing out unless you plan to bang

It goes without saying that current unrest in Iraq proves that Bush was right and Obama is wrong. This Vox article on what’s going is quite interesting:

This is an incredibly striking sentence from The Guardian’s coverage of the militant group the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)’s takeover of Iraq’s second largest city, Mosul:

Iraqi officials told the Guardian that two divisions of Iraqi soldiers – roughly 30,000 men – simply turned and ran in the face of the assault by an insurgent force of just 800 fighters.

The Iraqi army outnumbered ISIS by about 40:1 in Mosul. Yet the army still turned tail and ran — ran so fast, in fact, as to leave some of their tanks and helicopters behind.






202 replies
  1. 1
    Zam says:

    Well what do you expect with Obama taking the lead in the cut and run strategy?

  2. 2
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    The Stupid. It burns.

    Removing the Sunni strongman from Iraq, and shattering the existing order there opened the door for this madness.

    Last time I checked, Clinton should be blamed for this, not Obama, as the removal of the Sunni strongman took place during Clinton’s third term, not Obama’s pre-election term in office.

  3. 3
    eldorado says:

    i think the score brothers wrote a song about this

  4. 4
    Onkel Fritze says:

    So when the time comes, I hope the logistics are going to be better. It’d be a shame if they had to push some of those choppers overboard again.

  5. 5
    22over7 says:

    And they ran through the briars
    And they ran through the brambles
    And they ran through the bushes
    Where a rabbit wouldn’t go…

  6. 6
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Usually, outnumbering an opposing force by 40-1 is a slam dunk cakewalk.

    It seems the Iraqi army is not up to cakewalks.

  7. 7
    EconWatcher says:

    Iraq is starting to look like about the most extreme case of blowback we’ve ever created. And that’s saying something.

  8. 8
    Gypsy Howell says:

    And our intelligence industry was apparently completely caught off guard by these developments in Iraq. How much are we spending on the CIA/NSA spy complex these days? (Oh that’s right, we’re not allowed to know). We could save a lot of money and have no different results if we just shut the whole thing down.

    Ah Hahahahaha. I amuse myself sometimes.

  9. 9
    DougJ says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Does Pol Pot count as blowback?

  10. 10
    Botsplainer says:

    Is that the same ISIS as the one run by Mallory Archer?

  11. 11
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Yes, it looks like they have a problem there. Wonder what they are going to do about it.

    Not our problem.

  12. 12
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    The Iraqi army outnumbered ISIS by about 40:1 in Mosul. Yet the army still turned tail and ran — ran so fast, in fact, as to leave some of their tanks and helicopters behind.

    Seems to be some motivation lacking here.

    Does Pol Pot count as blowback?

    @DougJ: Hell yes he does.

  13. 13
    EconWatcher says:

    @DougJ:

    Yes, he does in my book. I stand corrected, for now. But the blowback in Iraq still has plenty of time to play out, so don’t tally the score just yet.

  14. 14
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gypsy Howell: When those you might want to monitor know that their electronic communications can be monitored, they will resort, the bastards, to old fashioned human means of communication that are not so easily monitored. Also, too, HUMINT is hard and takes time to set up, and involves a lot of skills that really don’t translate well into the private sector where the money is, and we’re fresh out of Ivy League legacy types who want to play James Bond.

  15. 15
    Roger Moore says:

    @DougJ:

    Does Pol Pot count as blowback?

    How about Osama bin Laden?

  16. 16
    skerry says:

    Wisdom and War

    We do not care-
    That much is clear.
    Not enough
    Of us care
    Anywhere.
    We are not wise-
    For that reason,
    Mankind dies.
    To think
    Is much against
    The will.
    Better-
    And easier-
    To kill.

    Langston Hughes

  17. 17
    Botsplainer says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Erase the Franco-British boundaries that came in after the defeat of the Ottomans, and that part of the world gets a lot more sane.

  18. 18
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    Not our problem.

    Oh, John “Auger In!” McCain begs to differ. This situation is just SCREAMING for F-35 strikes!

  19. 19
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Yes, it looks like they have a problem there. Wonder what they are going to do about it.

    Not our problem.

    @Linda Featheringill: Preach the fuck out of it, sister. IT IS NOT OUR PROBLEM.

  20. 20
    EconWatcher says:

    @Roger Moore:

    Wasn’t it more the predecessors of the Nothern Alliance that we backed against the Soviets, rather than OBL’s jihadis? Believe me, I’m not defending the policy, just clarifying a detail.

  21. 21
    🌷 Martin says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Usually, outnumbering an opposing force by 40-1 is a slam dunk cakewalk.

    That assumes the Iraqi military viewed them as an opposing force. With the tribal dynamics in places like Iraq, that’s far from a given.

    That all said, 800 troops is probably on the scale of what one of our cattle ranchers can call up in times of tyranny. Anyone think that 800 troops can hold half of the country, or do you think the Iraqi military can find a way to pull their pants back up and restore order? Shouldn’t be too hard to take back, I wouldn’t think.

  22. 22
    Someguy says:

    The fall of Iraq will prove everything we said since 2003 was right. Hopefully the embassy folks get out safe.

  23. 23
    SatanicPanic says:

    Wow, all that money and lives to train a bunch of chickens.

  24. 24
    EconWatcher says:

    How much you wanna bet we’ll be quietly inserting some special forces in the mix?

  25. 25
    Amir Khalid says:

    That must be the most irritatingly smug, and wrongest, rock song I’ve ever heard. And I never thought I would ever find myself describing a rock song as irritatingly smug.

    As for the sitch in Mosul — well, Iraq was never America’s to govern. Or to fight for. That Iraq has an expensive, lily-livered joke of an army happened despite a great deal of American blood, sweat and treasure. Had GIs been there to drive ISIS out of Mosul, they would have had to hand it over to Iraq at some point, and then ISIS would just come back. It might be a painful outcome for America, but George Walker Bush fucked it up back in ’03 by invading Iraq in the first place.

  26. 26
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @🌷 Martin: Well, given the tribal dynamics, it might well be impossible for the central government, under its currently Shiite mind set, to take back Mosul. Because allegiance to “Iraq” is rapidly becoming non-existent. Botsplainer pointed out that the Versailles solution was not much of a solution.

    This whole thing is a glorious mess that the United States created by obeying the stupid orders of the Dark Lord in the first place.

  27. 27
    Lavocat says:

    Is there any better evidence that “Iraq” can now be added to the list of failed states?

    The Kurds will take the north, ISIS the west, and the Shia will carve out the east, leaving the south to be fought over.

    So glad the U.S. invaded & brought democracy to the great unwashed, otherwise Saddam would still be in power & Iraq would be a stable state & not the latest haven for global terrorism.

    Wait, what?

  28. 28
    DougJ says:

    FWIW, I’m glad to hear it’s 30K soldiers running from 800 soldiers, not something involving hundreds of thousands of casualties.

  29. 29
    big ole hound says:

    It would seem that “normal” Muslims are really scared of “bat shit crazy” Muslims. Let the whole middle east annihilate each other for one tribal reason or another while we supply “slightly used” weaponry. Only dropped once.

  30. 30
    Anoniminous says:

    How … expected.

    Numbers don’t mean shit. The Iraqi Army doesn’t meet the criteria of “an armed mob.” They lack motivation. Without motivation there’s no unit cohesion, no discipline and no will-to-combat.

  31. 31
    Belafon says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It might be a painful outcome for America, but George Walker Bush fucked it up back in ’03 by invading Iraq in the first place.

    The reason it’s painful is that a whole lot of people are completely unable to admit they are wrong, or as their second favorite book describes, unable to remove the plank from their eye. (Their first favorite book having something to do with trains.)

  32. 32
    Ben W says:

    Don’t plan to bang unless ya gonna do somethang!

  33. 33
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    George Walker Bush fucked it up back in ’03 by invading Iraq in the first place.

    Who?

    We never heard of this guy. It was during Bill Clinton’s third term!

  34. 34
    Morzer says:

    @DougJ:

    It’s a full Reverse Thermopylae! Hopefully the judges will score it appropriately.

  35. 35
    Belafon says:

    @big ole hound:

    “bat shit crazy” Muslims.

    Do they have a Muslim Sarah Palin?

  36. 36
    DougJ says:

    @Ben W:

    Seemed appropriate, given the topic.

  37. 37
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Belafon: Do they have a Muslim David Brat?

  38. 38
    raven says:

    Marvin the ARVN is laughin.

    Unass this motherfucker now!!

  39. 39

    Final dress rehearsal for a revival of The Fall of Saigon, this time in the desert instead of the tropics.

    Cue the helicopter on the embassy roof, guys!

  40. 40
    big ole hound says:

    Wait, lets provide free transport to Iraq for all the NRA’s “good guys with guns” so they can have some trainin’ agin some real terriorists.

  41. 41
    Morzer says:

    @Belafon:

    Hell, they don’t even have an Alaska Independence Party.

  42. 42
    D58826 says:

    Oh FSM this gets worse and worse. Shadow President McCain wants Obama to fire his national security team and the Joint Chiefs. He wants to bring back Ryan Crocker and David Petraeus to ‘save Iraq’. What the heck these guys have some kind of green lantern woopie stick that they can just wave over the sand and make it all better.

    After 40 + years of sticking our nose in other peoples business we still haven’t figure out if they won’t fight for their own country than American soldiers can not save the situation

  43. 43
    the Conster says:

    I knew this exact thing was going to happen and said so to anyone who would listen after spending 15 minutes googling “Iraq” in 2003.

  44. 44
    Sloegin says:

    Amazing to think a US supported group is suddenly doing something that we don’t want them to do. A generation ago it was Afgan rebels, now it’s Syrian.

    It’s as if something is inherently wrong with the idea of giving arms and money to rebellious religious zealots. Weird. Why won’t they act like our trained monkeys?

  45. 45
    hoodie says:

    @🌷 Martin: Reading that Vox article, looks like ISIS has expanded about as far as it can and threats of taking Baghdad are empty. Can’t imagine that Iran will let Maliki fall and will do at least as much for him as they did for Assad. This may be a new equilibrium for that region, because ISIS can’t take Syria, either, and will get their clocks cleaned if they head into Kurdish regions. This is probably roughly what would have happened if we had not toppled Saddam and tried to maintain the fiction of a unified Iraq, i.e., Saddam would have eventually fallen and the country split along sectarian lines. The US wasted thousands of lives and trillions of dollars trying to plow the sea, and now the usual morons will try to blame Obama for not using a bigger plow.

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @the Conster: The deserting coward didn’t even know about Sunni vs. Shiite when he rubber stamped the Dark Lord’s plans to seize the Iraqi Oil Ministry.

    Which, I might point out, is a violation of the most elementary aspects of military planning that I learned in friggin’ ROTC, for the love of Patton.

  47. 47
    EconWatcher says:

    @the Conster:

    I’ll do you one better. Herbert Walker Bush said exactly this would happen in his 1990s autobigraphy explainingg why he did not continue into Iraq from Kuwait to overthrow Saddam. So much of this whole mess comes from daddy issues.

  48. 48
    Amir Khalid says:

    @big ole hound:

    Let the whole middle east annihilate each other for one tribal reason or another while we supply “slightly used” weaponry.

    Sigh. Just yesterday I was telling Glenn Greenwald I didn’t see a lot of anti-Muslim bigotry around here. Making glib “Just let’em kill each other off” remarks is a bit more dismissive of Muslim lives than is entirely consistent with not being anti-Muslim.

  49. 49
    the Conster says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    I just kept asking myself through all that fucking nonsense in the lead-up to the war if anyone had ever heard of google. I mean, what.the.fuck.

  50. 50
    Morzer says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    One idiot doesn’t make a bigotry – and Greenwald’s hyperbolic nonsense about this being one of the worst anti-Muslim comment sections in the world was a pathetic attempt to deflect criticism of his own distinctly limited fight for and understanding of “liberty”.

  51. 51
    D58826 says:

    @EconWatcher: Wasn’t it Colin Powell who used the pottery barn slogan – you break it you bought it’ in 1991 also.

  52. 52
    Corner Stone says:

    This sounds unpossible to me. Iran is the single greatest threat to our continued existence. This is fact and unassailable. But somehow the little 10+ year dustup between Iran and Iraq happened, and scariest brown people army in the world could not manage to wipe out the cowardly Iraqi army.
    So, does that make ISIS more powerful than Iran?!
    McCain! Graham! Cheney! Fire up the van! We’re getting the band back together!!

  53. 53
    Archon says:

    If your a Sunni in the Iraqi Army why would you risk your life for a corrupt, Shiite dominated government?

  54. 54
    Archon says:

    If your a Sunni in the Iraqi Army why would you risk your life for a corrupt, Shiite dominated government?

  55. 55
    Alex S. says:

    Maybe ISIS is being greeted as liberators.

  56. 56
    Cacti says:

    Does John Cole still wonder what’s going on Iraq?

  57. 57
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @raven:
    History does have an annoying way of repeating itself.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    is a slam dunk cakewalk.

    Did someone say…”cakewalk”?
    Rummy! Feith! Powell! Get your gear! We’re getting the band back together!!

  59. 59
    Morzer says:

    @Alex S.:

    We’ll see them on the news pulling down the statues of Dubya any day now.

  60. 60
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Morzer: I dare say if this were a situation where the prevailing religion were Christianity, and that it was Catholics vs. Protestants, the same attitude would be given…let them fight it out using our slightly used weapons. I suppose Greenwald ALSO thinks this site is anti-Semitic because the commenter said “the entire Middle East” which tosses Israel into the mix.

    War weariness does not equal “anti-Muslim”, and I think that’s what is being expressed here.

  61. 61
    dslak says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    I never thought I would ever find myself describing a rock song as irritatingly smug.

    You clearly haven’t listened to much Morrissey lately.

  62. 62
    EconWatcher says:

    @Corner Stone:

    They will endlessly try to smear Obama in a “who lost Iraq” campaign, and they will get nowhere except with the 27%. Everyone other than the 27% wanted us of out of there pronto and understands that it’s a no-win situation.

  63. 63
    Roger Moore says:

    @Belafon:

    or as their second favorite book describes, unable to remove the plank from their eye.

    It’s amazing how much they love books they’ve never bothered to read.

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone: I certainly am happy that SOMEONE saw what I did there….

  65. 65
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Morzer:
    No, indeed it doesn’t. But one shouldn’t airily dismiss other people’s lives the way big ole hound did, not even in jest.

  66. 66
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Roger Moore: The Wealth of Nations is a favorite with that crowd.

  67. 67
    Morzer says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    True, but let’s not grant one idiot a representative status he doesn’t deserve.

  68. 68
    Roger Moore says:

    @EconWatcher:

    They will endlessly try to smear Obama in a “who lost Iraq” campaign

    Only because most of the electorate no longer cares about “who lost Vietnam”.

  69. 69
    raven says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Xin Loi. Another generation of dudes that realize they got fucked. They’ll blame this one on us too.

  70. 70
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Morzer:
    Fair enough.

  71. 71
    El Caganer says:

    Fortunately, there’s a man with a plan to get this Islamicist jihadi shit sorted out: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06.....ebels.html And what could possibly go wrong?

    As far as outnumbering the opponent 40-1, fuck that. I’d take off running, too. You let those SOBs catch you, they’ll cut your huevos off or worse.

  72. 72
    Morzer says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    We good, bro?

    We New Spains must stick together, after all.

  73. 73
    Corner Stone says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: I saw the “slam dunk” part too but I thought that was just a little too gauche!

  74. 74
    jonas says:

    @SatanicPanic: They’re not “chickens” necessarily if you understand their motivation. They didn’t join the army out of a profound sense of duty and patriotism or so they could show everybody their war faces. The vast majority simply saw it as a chance to have a steady paycheck. In a country where military service was once reserved for groups favored by the regime (i.e. Sunnis from places loyal to Saddam), there’s really no tradition of serving in a standing army and adhering to its discipline, no real sense of a country to defend beyond the horizons of your family and clan, and thus little determination to face down crazy jihadis when the payoff isn’t immediately clear. I would also submit that the Iraqi military’s estimation of there being 30,000 boots on the ground there should be taken with an enormous grain of salt. They’ve been papering over enormous desertion rates for months now. Of course, there’s also this.

  75. 75
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @El Caganer: More stupid that burns.

  76. 76
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Roger Moore: “Lost” is a funny word. I’ll bet a cold beverage you can’t open your closet or dresser without finding a “Made in Vietnam” label. And Vietnam more or less loves America. I have a great picture from downtown Hanoi, with a socialist-realist “4.30.75” banner hanging from a lamppost, and a Chevy Blazer parked at the curb underneath.

  77. 77
    SatanicPanic says:

    @EconWatcher:

    “who lost Iraq”

    Says the people who couldn’t find it on a map in the first place

  78. 78
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Morzer:
    Yeah, we good.

  79. 79
    Corner Stone says:

    @El Caganer:

    Fortunately, there’s a man with a plan to get this Islamicist jihadi shit sorted out:

    Don’t need all that fooforaw. President McCain had this nailed down a couple years ago. Just get them Shawls and them Sununus into a room, look ’em in the eye and tell ’em, “Cut out all the bullshit!”
    Boom. Done.

    Why can’t Obama provide some decisive leadership like that?

  80. 80
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Has anyone else considered that we’re getting it wrong and that we have been for a long time? Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, how are they any better off than they would have been without the intervention of the world’s most expensive military machine?

  81. 81
    skerry says:

    So is the group ISIS or ISIL? I’ve seen both and am not Arabic speaking, so I don’t know which is more correct translation.

    Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant

    Islamic State in Iraq and Syria

    Doesn’t “Levant” include Israel? I’m confused.

  82. 82
    raven says:

    @jonas: The “other side” is probably shitty at side-straddle-hops tops too but they’ll cut your fucking head off in a heartbeat.

  83. 83
    Corner Stone says:

    This is just more foreshadowing. What does anyone think will happen to the Afghanistan Army when we finally rattle hocks out of there (pleaseohpleaselord) ?

  84. 84
    Suffern ACE says:

    So what does ISIS have against the Turks such that they killed their diplomats? Pissed that the leaders of Iran and Turkey were talking with each other the other day? Trying to get Turkey to change sides in the civil war in Syria?

  85. 85
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: When you cannot admit your mistakes, you cannot learn from them.

    We’ve been pretending there were no mistakes for 50 years now.

  86. 86
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Suffern ACE: The Turks aren’t Islamic enough for ISIS. Turkey has been, for nearly nine decades now, an at least nominal secular state.

  87. 87
    Ben W says:

    @DougJ: yep! The Iraqi army was totally Outkast, am I right?

  88. 88
    Corner Stone says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    Has anyone else considered that we’re getting it wrong and that we have been for a long time? Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, how are they any better off than they would have been without the intervention of the world’s most expensive military machine?

    Ooo! Ooo! Teacher Higgs! Call on me! Me!

  89. 89
    pat says:

    I’m beginning to understand Iran’s wanting to have nuclear weapons. Might be the only “deterrent” to this sort of thing.

    And I saw this ending up a second Viet Nam long before we even invaded.

    Interesting story in the NYT yesterday about how Maliki asked the WH to bomb the staging areas for these radicals, and the WH refused. Seems after Maliki refused to have an American force left in the country, the WH decided he was on his own.

    The real tragedy is the hundreds of thousand of refugees who are now on the move.

  90. 90
    D58826 says:

    @EconWatcher: Actually, give recent history, the 27% wanted us out also until Obama got us out. Now that want to be back into Iraq. I keep saying Obama should come out in favor of breathing. The 27% would hold their breath until the turned blue and died. Then maybe we go back to acting like a grown up country.

  91. 91
    Morzer says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    http://www.hark.com/clips/bzmd.....-was-a-tie

    Archie: “Winners like, North Vietnam?”
    Otto: “SHUT UP! We did not lose Vietnam, it was a TIE!”

  92. 92
    Suffern ACE says:

    @skerry: Apparently their “claim” includes Jordan, Syria, Lebanon and probably Israel as well. The original group was founded by a fighter from Afghanistan interested in overthrowing the Jordanian monarchy.

  93. 93
    beltane says:

    I for one do not want to send my sons to Iraq to save a country that the Iraqis themselves don’t feel is worth saving. If there are Republicans in this country who feel differently, they are welcome to send their children over there to die in that bottomless pit of despair.

    Because of Iraq’s location, the blowback from Bush’s criminal invasion of the country will be far worse for America’s long-term strategic interests than the Pol Pot regime (though hopefully not quite as awful for the civilian population). This was all entirely predictable, even inevitable, and the people who promoted the illegal invasion in the first place are the ones who must be held accountable. The rest of the world knows who to blame, we remain stupid at our own peril.

  94. 94
    wenchacha says:

    @hoodie: Sure, but Saddam had “rape rooms” and we know how much Republicans hate that women are raped. Sorta.

  95. 95
    kindness says:

    The Snark is strong with many here today.

  96. 96
    DougJ says:

    @Ben W:

    No, cos it’s titled Bombs Over Baghdad

  97. 97
    GregB says:

    The Iraqi Army fled because ISIS is mighty.

  98. 98
    Calouste says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    The common thing between those three cases at that they were all basically civil wars. Whenever America had a success intervening it was because there was a foreign power that had invaded (WW’s I&II of course, but even Kuwait ’91 falls into that category). But Americans just want to fight the favorite imperial/fascist/communist/islamist boogieman of the day, without considering what is actually going on.

  99. 99
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: The cake wasn’t halal.

  100. 100
    Roger Moore says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    You should know better than that. “Losing” Vietnam isn’t about whether they’re friendly to us or not. It’s primarily about blaming the DFHs for the warmongers’ mistakes and secondarily about Vietnam being its own, independent country that’s friendly to us by choice rather than a lickspittle colony with a government that rubberstamps whatever we tell them to do. If Iraq somehow gets its shit together and decides to be friendly to us, Obama will still get the blame for “losing” the place for exactly the same reason.

  101. 101
    beltane says:

    @wenchacha: The Republicans were pissed that they weren’t invited to the rape rooms. They fixed that by installing American-run rape rooms at Abu Gharaib.

  102. 102
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Calouste: Yes. And they repeatedly want to choose someone to win, which means we suck at being able to bring peace anywhere. We could, of course, arbitrate disputes. But what we end up doing is offering to be the arbitrator while at the same time clearly favoring one side over the other.

  103. 103
    raven says:

    McCain said that the U.S. should consider providing air power in Iraq, as the Iraqi government has reportedly requested, but he ruled out putting U.S. troops on the ground there.

    “No, I don’t think we should send troops back there,” he said. “We should explore all the options in air power, get a team over there to advise them. It’s so serious I’m not sure exactly how it can be done. Al Qaeda is now the richest terrorist organization in history.”
    But McCain said that he believed “airstrikes alone will not be enough.”

  104. 104
    Morzer says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    Yeah, no-one respects a referee who hits below the belt and then gives the other guy the win.

  105. 105
    Roger Moore says:

    @boatboy_srq:

    The cake wasn’t halal.

    The cake was a lie.

  106. 106

    @Villago Delenda Est: I have seen that guy on Snooze Hour too.

  107. 107
    beltane says:

    @kindness: I’m in no mood for snark. Everyone responsible for this, from Dick “the devil” Cheney, to Tony Blair to Tom Friedman, needs to be vilified until the end of time. Fuck these people.

  108. 108
    Morzer says:

    @Roger Moore:

    The cake was yellow.

  109. 109
    Zifnab25 says:

    @raven: Good news!

  110. 110
    Gopher2b says:

    @Gypsy Howell:

    Though if this is true you hardly blame them. I wouldn’t worry about 800 guys if I knew there were 30,000 on the otherwise.

  111. 111
    Mandalay says:

    @D58826:

    Shadow President McCain wants Obama to fire his national security team and the Joint Chiefs.

    Good effort, but this bomb from Graham is better:

    I have never been more worried about another 9/11 than I am right now” Graham warned.

    McCain is just bitter, but Graham understands that instilling fear in voters is paramount.

  112. 112
    Mandalay says:

    @D58826:

    Shadow President McCain wants Obama to fire his national security team and the Joint Chiefs.

    Good effort, but this bomb from Graham is better:

    I have never been more worried about another 9/11 than I am right now” Graham warned.

    McCain is just bitter, but Graham understands that instilling fear in voters is paramount.

  113. 113
    Mandalay says:

    @D58826:

    Shadow President McCain wants Obama to fire his national security team and the Joint Chiefs.

    Good effort, but this bomb from Graham is better:

    I have never been more worried about another 9/11 than I am right now” Graham warned.

    McCain is just bitter, but Graham understands that instilling fear in voters is paramount.

  114. 114
    Corner Stone says:

    @pat:

    Interesting story in the NYT yesterday about how Maliki asked the WH to bomb the staging areas for these radicals, and the WH refused. Seems after Maliki refused to have an American force left in the country, the WH decided he was on his own.

    MSNBC reporting Maliki is still asking the US to bomb the bad guys. Whoever that may be.

  115. 115
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @beltane: Your host…Allen West!

  116. 116
    boatboy_srq says:

    @Linda Featheringill: IIRC, al-Maliki refused to let the US keep even a team of “military advisors” in place: everyone had to go, no exceptions, because that’s what his administration insisted had to happen. It’s a bit late for him to ask for assistance now. But it’s well past time the US, instead of giving in and bombing the ISIS camps, asked al-Maliki what he has in mind – if only to encourage the army to stand its ground (I take it arms, armor, training and the assumption of something resembling patriotism aren’t enough).

    Of course the GOTea chickenhawks will complain if the US doesn’t “provide material assistance” because Teh Terrrrrrism™, and will complain if the US does because it’s another foreign misadventure. There is no action POTUS could take that will make them happy. It’d be predictably remarkable if, should the US reengage there, they start referring to the whole fiasco as “Obama’s Iraq.”

  117. 117
    Corner Stone says:

    @raven:

    Al Qaeda is now the richest terrorist organization in history.

    What the hell does that even mean?

  118. 118
    Ben W says:

    @DougJ: wha!? But they’re not to Baghdad yet! :)

  119. 119
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone: Malaki has obviously read the Shadow President John “Auger In!” McCain playbook.

  120. 120
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone: It means the ni*CLANG* is fucking things up, that’s what it means.

  121. 121
    Mike in NC says:

    Give the Republican warmongers, teabaggers, and chickenhawks roughly 48 hours to demand that Obama “do something” about saving Iraq from imploding. The media is already egging them on.

    With Cantor gone, they’re totally going to lose their shit trying to replace him and the impeachment train will be rolling out of Union Station.

  122. 122
    Joel says:

    @Amir Khalid: “Bombs over Baghdad” is an Outkast song, which is not rock by my estimation (but may be by yours?).

  123. 123
    Cacti says:

    MSNBC reporting Maliki is still asking the US to bomb the bad guys. Whoever that may be.

    Neocon puppet wants US military to act as his praetorian guard. Who could have seen that one coming?

    *raises hand

  124. 124
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Joel:
    Rock is a broad church, they say, and I would not exclude Outkast from it. But I was referring to The Right Brothers’ Bush Was Right, the song at DougJ’s first link.

  125. 125
    Gene108 says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Syria and Iraq tried the one-state solution in the 1950’s and/or 1960’s, when the Ba’ath party came to power in both countries.

    It did not last long.

  126. 126
    Robert Sneddon says:

    The UK is staying well out of it too. In a rare show of unanimity all the major political leaders here have agreed to no new military involvement.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27809922

  127. 127
    D58826 says:

    @raven: lets se how this works out.
    1. air strikes won’t be enough. check
    2. pilot shot down and captured. check
    3. troops to mount a recuse mission and additional troops to protect the rescue mission. check
    4. troops attacked so need more troops for force protection. check
    5. finally figure out how to get out. check
    6. oops a man left behind and that the moosalim Obama is abandoning him. check
    7. Obama gets the guy back with some kind of trade. check
    8. Obama is a traitor must impeach for doing just what the GOP has been demanding check.

    We’ve seen this movie to many times.

  128. 128
    raven says:

    @D58826: Ding, winner in aisle 127!

  129. 129
    Archon says:

    Republicans blaming Obama for this catastrophe is a bridge too far even for our press that loves regurgitating Republican talking points. For that reason Obama will not risk putting any of his “fingerprints” on this disaster by trying to help the Iraqi government.

  130. 130
    Patrick says:

    @Mike in NC:

    Fine. But before that; there needs to be agreement that any future cost will be paid by those idiots who were in favor of the war back in 2003. Why should I have to pay for unprovoked wars of choice?

    BTW – It is just appalling to be me that the media is quoting McCain regarding his opinion on Iraq. He should be shamed for having been so wrong about Iraq.

  131. 131
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Erase the Franco-British boundaries that came in after the defeat of the Ottomans, and that part of the world gets a lot more sane.

    Um, maybe. I wouldn’t assume that you can draw neat ethnic and denominational lines instead of Sykes-Picot in an area that’s always been a jumble of allegiances and identity. Not without substantial movement or elimination of populations.

    “Christians to Beirut, Alawites to the graveyard” is still the motto in Aleppo.

  132. 132
    D58826 says:

    And this will help

    Sistani also expressed condolences for the Iraqi troops killed by ISIS fighters and pledged the religious authority’s support to the Iraqi army in this struggle. It is more or less a declaration of Shiite jihad on ISIS

    Since to a Shitte at this point there isn’t a dimes worth of difference between ISIS and the average Sunni just trying to survive.

    Satan is going to have to open a few new levels of hell for Bush and the rest of the war criminals in his administration, as well as a few chosen ones in Congress

  133. 133
    EriktheRed says:

    Like so many wingnut videos, the Right Brothers one has comments disabled. Just can’t take like they can dish it out, as usual.

  134. 134
    EriktheRed says:

    Like so many wingnut videos, the Right Brothers one has comments disabled. Just can’t take like they can dish it out, as usual.

  135. 135
    EriktheRed says:

    Like so many wingnut videos, the Right Brothers one has comments disabled. Just can’t take like they can dish it out, as usual.

  136. 136
    elmo says:

    @wenchacha:

    we know how much Republicans hate that women that are raped

    You transposed a couple of words, is all. I fix.

  137. 137
    pseudonymous in nc says:

    @EconWatcher:

    Wasn’t it more the predecessors of the Nothern Alliance that we backed against the Soviets, rather than OBL’s jihadis? Believe me, I’m not defending the policy, just clarifying a detail.

    The various warlords and militants put aside their differences to fight the USSR. Once the Red Army left, those groups splintered, and the precursor to the ‘Northern Alliance’ asserted its authority over Kabul; the Pashtun mujahedin retreated, regrouped under the name ‘Taliban’, and eventually took over.

  138. 138
    Morzer says:

    @elmo:

    You are using too many wordifications. I fix for you, effendi:

    Republicans hate

  139. 139
    D58826 says:

    WSJ is reporting that Iran is deploying troops to fight the ISIS. That’s almost too good to be true. Just think what McCain, Graham and Bibi will say about that. Do we bomb Iran or give them weapons. Decisions decisions

  140. 140
    chopper says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Wow, all that money and lives to train a bunch of chickens.

    MOST ANTI-MUSLIM COMMENT SEKSHUN EVAR!

  141. 141
    Suffern ACE says:

    @pat: I don’t think they’ve refused, per se. I would right now anyway. Eventually, we probably are going to have to work with Iraq.

    No government in the surrounding area has an interest in setting up a revolutionary Sunni state in Iraq. However, right now, Iraq does not seem to have much of a plan on how it is going to take back that territory even if we are providing air support. Until there is a plan, I don’t see any reason why the administration should be involved.

  142. 142
    Morzer says:

    @chopper:

    Definitely the world’s most anti-poultryist comment section. Worthy of at least 50 updates and three outraged tweets.

  143. 143
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @D58826: Well, ISIS is Sunni. Iran is Shiite. The maths here are not difficult at all.

    This was always a problem with the entire aftermath of the utterly illegal invasion of Iraq. Inside Iraq, we supported the Shiites, because Saddam was a Sunni strongman, and Saddam was the bad guy. Outside of Iraq, the Shiites of Iran were our existential enemies. The contradiction inherent in our policy escaped the pea brains of the neocons. Or perhaps could not fit inside them at the same time.

    The ONLY winner of Gulf War II was Iran.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid.

  144. 144
    Suffern ACE says:

    @pseudonymous in nc: Exactly. Not every group is going to get its own little autonomous area or country.

  145. 145
    D58826 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s right. It’s the GOP reaction that will be fun to watch since Iran is the be all end all evil in the world.

  146. 146
    srv says:

    Remember those “Miss Me?” bill boards someone did with W?

    Someone should replace the pic with Saddam.

  147. 147
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @srv: Hell, sometime in 2005 some people were saying that the solution to the Iraq mess was to install a Sunni strongman to run the country.

    Um…guys? Did you miss the last two years?

  148. 148
    Corner Stone says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    No government in the surrounding area has an interest in setting up a revolutionary Sunni state in Iraq.

    I don’t know if the House of Saud qualifies for your limiters here, but I expect they may not mind all that much.

  149. 149
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Corner Stone: Ummmm. Not so much. I suppose ISIS would make them happier than a Muslim Brotherhood run country, but no, the House of Saud would be very short sighted to create a government on its border that has as its its goal the overthrow of itself for a more spiritually pure form of government.

  150. 150
    Cassidy says:

    @Linda Featheringill: @CONGRATULATIONS!: Well, we broke it. Like it or not, we have an obligation to the innocents placed in peril. Some of us still have friends over there who joined the Army after the jobs as interpreters dried up.

  151. 151
    Roger Moore says:

    @D58826:

    Do we bomb Iran or give them weapons.

    I think the best policy is to keep our hands off either way. The very most we should do is to share some intel with the Iraqis, knowing full well that it will get passed along to the Iranians if they’re helping out. We should certainly not give any kind of material support that will be used against us when we’re the ones in their sights.

  152. 152
    D58826 says:

    @Cassidy: Your right but I’m afraid that ship may have sailed. Something should have been done as our involvement was winding down to help these folks get out, either to the US or another Middle eastern country. We didn’t do it. But we have a history of that. Just ask the Vietnamese we left behind, some of them literally our children. Some one once said the only thing worse than being America’s enemy is being America’s friend

  153. 153
    LanceThruster says:

    You want an ARVN rifle? Never been fired, only been dropped once.

  154. 154
    Corner Stone says:

    Guy being interviewed about Iraq on Reid Report essentially just went Ghostbuster’s on us, “Basically all the bad parts of the bible.”

  155. 155
    Cassidy says:

    @D58826: I get that people don’t want to be involved. Saying it’s not our problem, though, is not true. It most definitely is out problem. We created it. The question is whether we take responsibility for it.

  156. 156
    Corner Stone says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    the House of Saud would be very short sighted to create a government on its border that has as its its goal the overthrow of itself for a more spiritually pure form of government.

    It’s just a SWAG on my part, but I suspect Saudi wouldn’t mind a very religious Sunni force chafing against Iran and distracting them from other pursuits. Saudi knows, just as surely as they live and breathe, that the USG will never allow ISIS to sufficiently threaten the SA rulers.

  157. 157
    D58826 says:

    @Cassidy: Oh I agree its our problem but if we have a political system that was willing to push the country into default then i don’t think it will take responsibility for this.

  158. 158
    srv says:

    @Morzer:

    We’ll see them on the news pulling down the statues of Dubya any day now.

    Damn, we should have funded some statues of him in anticipation of the media opportunity.

    Anyone got a bronze statue of W handy?

  159. 159
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Corner Stone: As long as the militant Sunni state has a sufficiently Wahhabist cast to it, no problem as far as the Saudis are concerned.

  160. 160
    The Watcher says:

    My prediction from before the fun started:

    http://www.democraticundergrou.....quels.html

    Only got one thing wrong. I just couldn’t conceive of them re-electing the Smirking Chimp….

  161. 161
    srv says:

    Pat Lang says:

    I knew Abd al-Aziz al-Douri quite well when he was head of armed forces intelligence before he was VP. A very capable soldier, he had been CG of the Nebuchadnezzar Division of the RG. If he and some of his pals are running this campaign Maliki is screwed. What a great decision Bremer and the neocons made in disbanding the Army!! pl !!

    http://english.al-akhbar.com/node/20146

  162. 162
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @Botsplainer:

    Is that the same ISIS as the one run by Mallory Archer?

    Hmm – I didn’t know they had branched out from trying to sell cocaine…

  163. 163
    stickler says:

    @D58826: What would “take responsibility for it” even look like? Because if it involves “US combat forces going back in,” it’s a non-starter. The American people are done, finished, through with Iraq. Is that fair or just to the folks in Iraq who helped us and are now in the lurch? No. But it’s realistic.

  164. 164
    Roger Moore says:

    @Cassidy:

    It most definitely is out problem. We created it.

    No, we did not create it, or at least we only played a small, recent role in creating it. The Sunnis and Shia have been at each others’ throats for far longer than the United States has existed. We contributed to the current problem by removing Saddam Hussein from the equation, but we spend quite a lot of time and effort trying to set up a working government to replace him. I don’t think we owe some kind of infinite debt that demands we continue to intervene forever after any time the people living in Iraq resort to violence to settle their problems. As long as Iraq is an independent country, the people living there have primary responsibility for what happens there.

  165. 165
    Morzer says:

    @srv:

    I can find you a statue of Dubya and Dick joined at the hip:

    http://tinyurl.com/m2hqelm

  166. 166
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Corner Stone: I read an odd hypothesis that ISIS in Iraq might be recieving support from Iran. Doesn’t make much sense except that merging the Iraqi and Syrian groups together and getting them to focus on Iraq draws them out of Syria and allows the Iranians and Syrians to be viewed as defenders against extremism. Unplausible? Certainly. Unconceivable? Well, it is all that spycraft business so who knows?

  167. 167
    Long Tooth says:

    “Iraqi officials told the Guardian that two divisions of Iraqi soldiers – roughly 30,000 men – simply turned and ran..”.

    I’m tempted to ask where is John Wayne when you really need him? but recall that he was alive when the South Vietnamese army also turned and ran.

    It will be very interesting to see if the inevitable “Obama lost Iraq” attacks will prompt any truth telling by democrats about the treason committed by the Bush/Cheney administration in 2002-2003. Better late than never, I suppose, if it happens at all.

  168. 168
    D58826 says:

    @stickler: That’s why I said the ship had already sailed. Taking responsibility would have involved, to use an analogy, the same type of action that we took with the Hungarian refugees in 1956. Set up a process whereby those Iraqi’s who had cast their lot with the US would be gotten out of the country, along with their extended families if need be. I remember when they set up a refugee camp at Fort Dix in 1956. Same idea. It’s to late to do that now and your right no boots on the ground

  169. 169
    Morbo says:

    @Corner Stone: Presumably it means that McCain doesn’t know that ISIS and Al Qaeda have gone their separate ways.

  170. 170
    Corner Stone says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    I read an odd hypothesis that ISIS in Iraq might be recieving support from Iran.

    That does sound odd, indeed. Why would Assad’s strongest backer also be backing Sunni’s who want to kill him?

  171. 171
    catclub says:

    @🌷 Martin:

    or do you think the Iraqi military can find a way to pull their pants back up and restore order?

    The pictures I saw were of Iraqi Shiites lining up to join an army to drive them out.

    Sectarian war. Wonderful.

  172. 172
    Jebediah, RBG says:

    @beltane:

    Everyone responsible for this, from Dick “the devil” Cheney, to Tony Blair to Tom Friedman, needs to be vilified until the end of time. Fuck these people.

    Yes.

  173. 173
    catclub says:

    @Roger Moore:

    No, we did not create it, or at least we only played a small, recent role in creating it

    I would argue that we had a pretty big role in creating the recent problem. But the usefulness of our going back in with arms and bombs and troops is pretty limited. Like zero.

  174. 174
    SRW1 says:

    @Corner Stone:

    Al Qaeda is now the richest terrorist organization in history.

    What the hell does that even mean?

    Apparently a reference to reports that Mosul was the location of a bank (Central bank?) with something like $460 million cash in its cellar, which ISIS gratefully carted off to its hideout in Syria.

    Gonna be a hell of a party.

  175. 175
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Corner Stone: Merging the Syrian and Iraqi components and moving the action into Iraq may take pressure off of Assad who is still struggling to take back the territory from them.

    It might make sense to read the entire statement from Al-Quaeda as to why they were distancing themselves from this group. I haven’t found the entire statement. The press just jumped to “This Group is Too Extreme even for Al-Qaeda!!!!!” But it didn’t exactly say why that was.

  176. 176
    catclub says:

    @SRW1:

    $460 million cash in its cellar

    Why do I think this is US dollars, not Iraqi currency?

  177. 177
    Cassidy says:

    @Roger Moore: That’s a wonderful explanation as long as you ignore recent history.

  178. 178
    SRW1 says:

    @catclub:

    IIRC it was implied (Guardian report two days ago?) that it was in local currencies, not $.

  179. 179
    Roger Moore says:

    @catclub:

    I would argue that we had a pretty big role in creating the recent problem.

    I think the fundamental problem is that there are people there who hate each other and want to kill each other. We upset the local balance and let the forces of violence and hate get loose, but the primary blame has to go on the people who are out there trying to kill their neighbors.

  180. 180
    chopper says:

    @Corner Stone:

    it means COBRA lost too much investing in the real estate market.

  181. 181
    OGLiberal says:

    Kurds just “took” Tikrit. No surprise there. By “took”, I mean they drove in and parked their tanks and troops there….the Iraqi army had already left. Better it be in the hands of the peshmerga than the army – the Kurd would utterly destroy ISIL.

  182. 182
    tam1MI says:

    Gee, I,m sure glad that the war we went into because of a nonexistent tie to 9/11 and nonexistent weapons of mass destruction turned out so well for all involved! /sarcasm.

  183. 183
    chopper says:

    i, for one, can’t wait for the progressive freakout when obama decides on some air strikes. boots onna ground!

  184. 184
    Corner Stone says:

    @chopper: Absent any evident way we could *improve* or stabilize the situation, I’d much prefer he not re-commit any US force to this situation.
    So if Obama does authorize air strikes, I believe I will comment that I wished he did not.
    Our recent interventions leave quite a lot to be desired in effective outcomes. I’d not like to see an extension in our stomping grounds.

    What outcome do you think sounds acceptable, that’s within the bounds of capabilities?

  185. 185
    richard mayhew says:

    @Mustang Bobby: I doubt it as the Sadrists have the will and means to hold most of baghdad against any non us corps sized attack. ISIS as long as they do not piss off elite Sunni opinion can take most of the upper euphrates and Tigris valleys as the Iraqi Army will not die and the Sunni militias are ok enough with isis but the shiite miltias that were willing to go head to head against heavy us an uk forces will fight for their homes

  186. 186
    chopper says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I think air strikes are acceptable, but mostly it would only be to aid in getting people the fuck out of there.

  187. 187
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    Do nothing. Are we really this unable to learn? Have we not fucked it up badly enough?

    Stop. And do nothing.

  188. 188
    D58826 says:

    @richard mayhew: Short version – long and bloody stalemate in a de facto partitioned Iraq. Didn’t Biden make that suggestion, only without the blood

  189. 189
    Corner Stone says:

    From reports I’ve skimmed it seems we have about 2500 contractors and troops in Iraq. I hope somebody chartered some Qatar Air jumbos to get them the F out, toot swede.

  190. 190
    John Revolta says:

    @D58826: The Hungarians were Christians. A similar program for Iraqis was never gonna happen.

  191. 191
    Corner Stone says:

    SOB, Iran deployed 3 battalions of IRG to Tikrit to assist the Iraqi Army?
    That dude on Reid Report was not even kidding, not even a little.
    “Don’t cross the streams!

  192. 192
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t think you’ll have to worry about writing that anti-US airstrike piece now. I think our position moved from “hey, al-Malaki, perhaps you shouldn’t have treated those Sunnis so poorly. Maybe they wouldn’t be revolting” to “We cannot be seen to be providing air support to the Iranian special forces.”

  193. 193
  194. 194
    Corner Stone says:

    @Morbo: Yes, I found this a few minutes ago:
    “Three planes carrying American diplomats and contractors stationed at a training mission at an Iraqi airbase in Balad, north of Baghdad, flew out amid fears that the base could be surrounded by the militants. Germany ordered all its citizens to leave the Iraqi capital, as did Turkey, which has already had 80 people kidnapped by the militants, including the consul to the northern city of Mosul.”

    “As Washington said it could provide military help – probably restricted to air strikes – reports emerged that Tehran had sent two battalions of Revolutionary Guards – the equivalent of Britain’s SAS – to assist the fellow Shia Muslim regime in Baghdad. By putting troops directly into the conflict, Iran will strengthen its foothold in the country, where it has long vied for influence with the West. “

  195. 195
    Sherparick says:

    @richard mayhew: I think Daniel Larison has summed up the situation quite well.

    “…This is the trouble with trying to condition future aid on improvements in Maliki’s behavior: when push comes to shove, the U.S. usually refuses to cut off aid because it doesn’t want to “abandon” its client. We trick ourselves into thinking that propping up the client is extremely important to us, which is somehow supposed to justify his abuses and our endless enabling of them. The client knows this and continues to behave however he pleases. Lynch points out that Maliki will probably agree to all sorts of concessions now in order to acquire the aid he seeks, but will forget all about this once the immediate crisis is over:

    It will be virtually impossible to force any meaningful political moves in the midst of an urgent crisis, and any promises made now will quickly be forgotten once the crisis has passed.

    The Iraqi military has failed to resist ISIS because so many of the soldiers in it have no desire to fight for Maliki’s government, and that is at least partly a product of the abusive nature of his rule. The U.S. wasn’t able to change any of that when our forces were occupying the country, and it won’t be able to change it now. Sending more military equipment to a government that evidently cannot keep the equipment it already has from falling into the hands of its enemies is folly. That incidentally reminds us that sending arms to one approved group in a war zone doesn’t guarantee that those weapons won’t fall into the wrong hands. Sending more weapons into Syria could end up unwittingly aiding ISIS or similar groups. If the Iraqi army can’t keep control of the equipment and weapons the U.S. provided, why would we want to risk the same outcome with the “moderate” rebels in Syria?

    Intervening militarily to prevent further advances by ISIS would commit the U.S. to acting as Maliki’s protector indefinitely, and the more resources that the U.S. commits to this the harder it will be to pull the plug at some point in the future. It would also put us in the extremely awkward and politically untenable position of fighting on the same side as the Iranian forces that have already been deployed to aid Maliki. Having spent years decrying the expansion of Iranian influence in the region (which was aided by the original invasion and overthrow of Hussein), why would interventionists think that we ought to start fighting on the Iranians’ side in Iraq?

    It’s true that the U.S. is responsible for wrecking Iraq, and without the invasion and occupation none of this would now be happening. However, it should also be obvious that the U.S. cannot “fix” or even significantly ameliorate the political problems in Iraq through military aid or the use of force. It is imperative that we remember that when we hear the inevitable demands for “action.”

    I wish someone would ask Senators Chicken Little Huckleberry and Senator Auger in McCain what they will do when air strikes fail? And except where there are ground troops who are willing to fight (see Sadr’s Mahdi Army militia and the Kurds in the North) it will certainly fail. If I have to play the game of imperial politics and war, and want to keep U.S. involvement to a minimum I would encourage Kurdistan to declare independence, and then set up drone bases and Special Forces operations to their to open up one front on the ISIS and then do an under the table deal with Iran and Assad to take care of do the second front. It will mean endless war for the poor SOBs, but at least the Democrats would not be having to respond to “Who Lost Iraq” for the next 30 years.

  196. 196
    Debbie(aussie) says:

    @EconWatcher:
    On which side? The Iraqi gov’t, more or less installed by Bush et al or the Saudi supported Sunni extremists who are also fighting with the ‘rebels’ in Syria?

  197. 197
    Corner Stone says:

    @Suffern ACE:

    “We cannot be seen to be providing air support to the Iranian special forces.”

    Thank goodness, I hope. I shutter at the thought of a “friendly fire” incident where we blow 30 IRG to fuck and back.

  198. 198
    Cpl Cam says:

    @Alex S.: Funny you should mention that… http://www.ianwelsh.net/when-t.....overnment/

  199. 199
    mclaren says:

    The Iraqi army outnumbered ISIS by about 40:1 in Mosul. Yet the army still turned tail and ran — ran so fast, in fact, as to leave some of their tanks and helicopters behind.

    Sure proof that the Iraqi army was trained by the U.S. military.

    The American military is a mob of felons and gang members and rapists led by incompetent careerists. Americans are cowardly bullies, and this is exactly what you would expect when the United States of America fields a fighting force. When a bully finds himself facing someone who actually stands up and fights back, the bully shits his pants and runs.

    As a nation of sadistic inept bullies, America can prevail militarily only by relyiing on much stronger fighting forces (the Soviet Union in WW II) or by using terror weapons from a distance (nuclear bombing of Japan). When cowardly incompetent American soldiers come face-to-face with determined opponents who are willing to fight, the Americans always throw down their rifles and flee, as at Chosin Reservoir in North Korea in 1950.

    As Tom Englehardt has pointed out in his latest article, America has amassed a record of unparalleled failure in its military flops since WW II.

    The United States has been at war — major boots-on-the-ground conflicts and minor interventions, firefights, air strikes, drone assassination campaigns, occupations, special ops raids, proxy conflicts, and covert actions — nearly nonstop since the Vietnam War began. That’s more than half a century of experience with war, American-style, and yet few in our world bother to draw the obvious conclusions.

    Given the historical record, those conclusions should be staring us in the face. They are, however, the words that can’t be said in a country committed to a military-first approach to the world, a continual build-up of its forces, an emphasis on pioneering work in the development and deployment of the latest destructive technology, and a repetitious cycling through styles of war from full-scale invasions and occupations to counterinsurgency, proxy wars, and back again.

    So here are five straightforward lessons — none acceptable in what passes for discussion and debate in this country — that could be drawn from that last half century of every kind of American warfare:

    1. No matter how you define American-style war or its goals, it doesn’t work. Ever.

    2. No matter how you pose the problems of our world, it doesn’t solve them. Never.

    3. No matter how often you cite the use of military force to “stabilize” or “protect” or “liberate” countries or regions, it is a destabilizing force.

    4. No matter how regularly you praise the American way of war and its “warriors,” the U.S. military is incapable of winning its wars.

    5. No matter how often American presidents claim that the U.S. military is “the finest fighting force in history,” the evidence is in: it isn’t.

    At this point, the American military is so impotent and so grotesquely sadistic and incompetent that the only enemy it can successfully terrorize are female soldiers in its own rank, one third of whom wind up being raped by other soldiers.

    Source: “A record of unparallelled failure,” Tomdispatch.com, 10 June 2014.

  200. 200
    ruemara says:

    @Gypsy Howell: Maybe if we didn’t have some arsehat announcing how we spy on them, who we spy on over there and what our tech tools are-we might actually have known something. God, I wonder if there was some sort of massive issue that has caused disruption in our overseas spying operations?

  201. 201
    mclaren says:

    @ruemara:

    Maybe if we didn’t have some arsehat announcing how we spy on them, who we spy on over there and what our tech tools are-we might actually have known something.

    Beautiful! Blame the victim!

    America’s self-hating bully-worshiping pathology never fails to surface, like a turd in a cesspool.

    Yes, America’s vaunted intelligence community is sooooooooooo magnificent at detecting threats before they happen…like the Cuban Missile Crisis–whoops! The CIA didn’t have a fucking clue! Or the overthrow of the Shah in Iran–whoops! Once again, the CIA didn’t have a goddamn clue! Or the collapse of the Soviet Union–whoops! Again, the CIA didn’t have an inkling what was gonna happen! Or the 9/11 attacks–whoops! And yet again, the CIA was as hopeless and helpless as a brain-damaged trilobite!

    The CIA could be replaced by a baboon tossing darts at a board with imaginary threats on it, and the baboon would do a better job. So the natural and obvious conclusion to your typical deluded authoritarian bully-worshing halfwit Americano like Ruemara is…America needs more totalitarian Orwellian spying on its own population!!!

    Genius.

    With citizens like Ruemara, the NSA doesn’t need serfs or slaves.

  202. 202
    mclaren says:

    @Corner Stone:

    How much ya wanna bet we won’t see that news item on CBS or NBC or ABC news or MSNC or CNN or Fox news…?

    Cue the pics of American aircraft carriers pushing 100-million-dollar helicopters off the deck into the ocean to make room for more American evacuees in…3…2…1…

    (For those you unaware of the reference, I’m old enough to have actually watching news footage of U.S. soldiers pushing military copters off aircraft carriers into the ocean to make room for more evacuees during the fall of Saigon in 1975.)

    Since Corner Stone and I and a handful of others have been predicting this for 9 long years, naturally this makes us (in the immortal words of that great thinker raven) “a dog-fucking piece of shit of the lowest possible denominator” with (as that profound commentator General Stuck intoned with his usual wisdom) “a massive case of butt rabies.”

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