Why the Ospries won’t be needed

ISIS is a fundamentally a Sunni Arab militia which has been able to consolidate its power from the other major armed stakeholders in the Sunni dominated regions of Iraq.  The tribal levies that made up the Awakening/Sons of Iraq group (as well as the vast majority of the effective insurgent groups) have been more than content to allow ISIS a free rein.  That will change if ISIS is too nasty to Sunnis.  The Sunni manned  elements of the Iraqi Army did not give a fuck and walked away from Mosul and Tikrit.  Now, Tal Afar has been taken by ISIS infantry.  It looks like Baghdad is threatened, but two maps and a little history strongly suggests that the US embassy in Baghdad nor the rest of the city is under any serious threat.

Baghdad in 2003 was a mixed sectarian city with a dominant Sunni Arab political structure:

Baghdad 2003

 

Baghdad in 2009, after a surge of ethnic cleansing aided by power tools to skulls, became a Shi’ite dominated city with several major militias able to create and hold no-go zones against anything short of deliberate heavy combined arms attacks by US forces:

Baghdad_Ethnic_2009_lg

So far ISIS has not faced anyone who has wanted to fight.  The major powers in the Sunni areas, the tribal groups, are standing aside, and the Iraqi Army so far has decided that they don’t care about the result.  However, ISIS has only attempted to grab low hanging fruit in Sunni dominated areas.  If they try to push to Baghdad, there are large groups of organized, armed men who have plenty of experience fighting an essentially defensive campaign in urban environments.  The Sadrist Mahdi Army and other Shi’ite militias that gained control of Baghdad would be fighting on their turf for their families and their homes with support of the people.  And this time, they would have access to heavy weaponry and a viable logistics pipeline.

Baghdad falling to ISIS in the next six months is less likely than the Republican Governor’s Association endorsing non-waivered Medicaid expansion for all hold-out states in that time period.

122 replies
  1. 1
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Please, Richard, you’re not following the Village narrative on this. There is no greater sin in this country. Do you want to be on Sally Quinn’s blacklist, hanging out with Phil Donohue and the Dixie Chicks?

  2. 2
    Someguy says:

    A brilliant analysis, albeit one with mis-spelled plane names, and ignoring the fact that the guerillas probably won’t be fighting tanks, but the morale and resolve of the Al Maliki government and his followers.

    They don’t need to go house-to-house, Richard. They only need to break the moral of the government and its followers to win.

  3. 3

    @Villago Delenda Est: Dixie Chicks sound like more fun than the Village idiots.

  4. 4
    Belafon says:

    Baghdad falling to ISIS in the next six months is less likely than the Republican Governor’s Association endorsing non-waivered Medicaid expansion for all hold-out states in that time period.

    I was wondering where the medical tie in would come from.

  5. 5
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Not to be a quibbler, but isn’t it Ospreys?

  6. 6
    catclub says:

    That will change if ISIS is too nasty to Sunnis.

    I have wondered about the masses of refugees leaving Mosul and trying to get into the Kurdish regions.
    Last time, the various Islamist groups did get far too harsh and the Sunni population turned on them.

    The Sunni manned elements of the Iraqi Army did not give a fuck and walked away from Mosul and Tikrit.

    Mu understanding was that many in the Army at Mosul were Shia, and had no interest in fighting both the general population and the ISIS troops. (I don’t know about Tikrit.)

  7. 7

    I don’t know if this has already been done but someone needs to compile the list of lies that got us into Iraq in the first place along with the rah-rah statements of the cheer leading squad of the Village Idiots.

  8. 8
    Belafon says:

    The plural of osprey is ospreys.

  9. 9
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Belafon:
    Ha! You owe me a soda.

  10. 10
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: Yeah, it’s Ospreys.

    I wouldn’t use Ospreys for this operation. Blackhawks and Shithooks, most likely.

  11. 11
    daveNYC says:

    @Someguy: True, but considering that the government and its followers are going to be taken out back and shot if Baghdad falls, I don’t think ISIS is going to be able to just show up and watch them surrender.

  12. 12

    BTW whatever happened to BJ’s own Benghazi FP troll? I think his name was Bernard Fine or Finel or something like that?

  13. 13
    catclub says:

    @Belafon: But the plural of opry is opries.

  14. 14
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:
    The AUMF in Iraq was passed with the help of 82 Democrats in the House and 29 Democrats in the Senate. I have no idea how many of them are still politically active. I have strong ideas about how they should spend more time with their families.

  15. 15
    AxelFoley says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Yeah, he has been MIA, hasn’t he?

  16. 16
    catclub says:

    @Someguy:

    but the morale and resolve of the Al Maliki government and his followers.

    Maliki has PLENTY of morale and resolve for fighting Sunni militias to defend Shia civilians and territory. Sunni civilians and territory, not so much.

    partition is coming. (And I recently wrote that partition is horrible. The worst option except for all the others.)

  17. 17

    @catclub: How popular is Maliki with the Shias?

  18. 18
    catclub says:

    Meanwhile, the rest of the world goes on.

    NBCNews.com

    Pro-Russia Militia in Ukraine Seeks Urgent Help from Moscow

  19. 19

    @AxelFoley: Along with Boer De Freddie and Kain E. D.

  20. 20
    some guy says:

    As long as Qatar and Saudi Arabia keep bankrolling them, ISIS will be a threat. Hopefully, the Quds Brigade can help the Maliki government take back some of the territory. The key will be to stop the flow of weapons and cash from the Gulf States to ISIS. Not sure if that is doable, but serious economic sanctions against all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council would be a good way to get the ball rolling.

  21. 21
    Belafon says:

    @catclub: It’s almost like it turns whether or not the US is paying attention.

  22. 22
    Xantar says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Last I saw, Bernard Finel had written a post somewhere saying that he came to the realization that he was kind of boring and not adding anything to the conversation that wasn’t being said elsewhere. Therefore he stopped.

    I disagreed with a lot of what he wrote, but I give him credit for having some self-awareness and humility.

  23. 23
    D58826 says:

    I just wonder if Obama’s ‘slow decision making’ is due to both his ‘think it thru’ process and just letting this play out on the ground. If ISIS runs out of gas or is stopped cold in Bagdad then the pressure for direct US involvement will go down. We are not talking the Wehrmacht on the eve of the Russian invasion here. In addition as he lets all of the wingnut war mongers appear on TV it will remind the public of who is the adult in the room. If there is to be a political deal (whoever unlikely) between the government and the Sunni’s the last thing you want to do is further inflame the Sunni’s by bombing them. Give ISIS some time to hang themselves with their extremism.

  24. 24
    catclub says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Certainly much, much more than with the Sunnis. I think there are some Iraqi Shia’s who see him as more of an agent of Iran than they would like.

    The New Yorker had a long article a few weeks back on him. He was vouched for by either the US Ambassador or the CIA station chief when they were floundering around looking for a PM candidate. oy.

    he also apparently is a long term hard case in terms of being a terrorist ( when that meant bombing Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and its operatives.)

  25. 25
    catclub says:

    @some guy:

    As long as Qatar and Saudi Arabia keep bankrolling them, ISIS will be a threat.

    They now seem to be somewhat self-funding. Syrian Oil and Mosul bank withdrawal. Wonderful! Capitalist entrepreneurs!

  26. 26
    some guy says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    AUMF Senate votes: Democrats: 10-45. 10 (18%) of 56 Democratic Senators voted for the resolution: John Breaux, Richard Bryan, Al Gore, Bob Graham, Howell Heflin, Bennett Johnston, Joe Lieberman, Harry Reid, Chuck Robb, Richard Shelby.

    The 86 Democrats who voted Yea on AUMF ( HR 77) can be found here: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/1991/roll009.xml

    Democratic House Co-sponsors of HR 77: (Gary Ackerman, Les Aspin, Howard Berman, Dante Fascell, Tom Lantos, Greg Laughlin (R), Mel Levine, Marilyn Lloyd, Dave McCurdy, Charles Thomas McMillen, Gillespie V. Montgomery, John Murtha, Ike Skelton, Stephen J. Solarz, Charles Stenholm, Robert Torricelli, and Harold Volkmer).

  27. 27
    some guy says:

    double post edit

  28. 28
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    I live in south Orange County near Camp Pendleton. Every now and then a formation of Ospreys flies over. They’re noisy, clumsy-appearing aircraft and, if past is prelude, a maintenance nightmare. I was reminded of the time that I was in Vietnam and we were flying very noisy B-model Hueys. The Saigon-based officer briefing us for the latest Great Idea opened with “Using the element of surprise…” I was threatened with an Article15 for laughing out loud.

  29. 29

    @catclub: They are pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps and they like guns, isn’t that what the Republican base admires?

  30. 30
    some guy says:

    Haven’t seen cacti around lately. Maybe he could explain the motivations and funding sources for his pals in ISIS?

  31. 31
    catclub says:

    @some guy: Are you sure that Al Gore voted for that? I think you have a 1991 vote. Is that what you intended?

  32. 32
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: Miss them yet?

  33. 33

    @Gin & Tonic: Don’t miss them at all, on second thoughts, I miss EDK a little bit. It was fun to needle him, when he put up ridiculous posts heh indeeding MY. Truth be told, I think the jackals and the hyenas of the comment section scared them.

    ETA: Whatever happened to M_C?

  34. 34
    VOR says:

    @catclub: Right, Al Gore was not in the Senate in 2002. Your link goes to the 1991 vote to go to war in Kuwait, Operation Desert Storm. Different war.

  35. 35

    @Xantar: I don’t remember that. I found his concern trolling about Obama’s foreign policy a tad exhausting.

  36. 36
    Someguy says:

    @some guy: You must have a real case of the ass to want to punish the Dems who voted to turn the Iraqis out of Kuwait in 1991.

    Admittedly, we should have let the Iraqis keep that godforsaken hole and finish their attempted genocide of the Kuwaitis. and their guestworkers. It was none of our business.

    But really, how are we going to get Les Aspin thrown out of office? Dude’s been dead over a decade, and even in Chicago, it’s hard to vote against a guy like that in the primaries. Never mind Al Gore and the others who voted for that war.

  37. 37
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @catclub: Since you brought it up, I’m not going OT. But here is a very interesting analysis of tax and expenditure flows in Ukraine. It’s in Russian, but all you really need to look for is the orange-red regions, which are oblasts (states) where they receive more from the federal government than they contribute. The blue column is what they get, the yellow is what they send. And in a surprising parallel with the US’s red states, the three most separatist oblasts (Luhansk, Donetsk and Crimea) are net takers. In Donetsk, home of the Yanukovych mafia and the current “Donetsk People’s Republic” it’s almost a 4-1 ratio. Lviv, on the left, home of Ukrainian nationalism, contributes more than it takes.

  38. 38
    Amir Khalid says:

    @catclub:
    When are we gong to hear from our Portland-based Ukraine correspondent about this very important matter?

  39. 39
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Someguy: A friend of mine who was in Desert Storm refers to the Kuwaitis as “slant drilling mother fuckers.”

  40. 40
    catclub says:

    @Amir Khalid: oops, sorry.

  41. 41
    some guy says:

    doh, wrong AUMF Iraq. sorry.

    House Joint Resolution 114: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/.....H.J.Res114:

    In the Senate, 58% of Democratic senators (29 of 50) voted for the resolution. Those voting for the resolution are:
    Sens. Lincoln (D-AR), Feinstein (D-CA), Dodd (D-CT), Lieberman (D-CT), Biden (D-DE), Carper (D-DE), Nelson (D-FL), Cleland (D-GA), Miller (D-GA), Bayh (D-IN), Harkin (D-IA), Breaux (D-LA), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Kerry (D-MA), Carnahan (D-MS), Baucus (D-MT), Nelson (D-NE), Reid (D-NV), Torricelli (D-NJ), Clinton (D-NY), Schumer (D-NY), Edwards (D-NC), Dorgan (D-ND), Hollings (D-SC), Daschle (D-SD), Johnson (D-SD), Cantwell (D-WA), Rockefeller (D-WV), and Kohl (D-WI)

  42. 42
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Xantar: I disagreed with a lot of what he wrote, but I give him credit for having some self-awareness and humility.

    One of us remembers a very different Bernard Finel, or maybe your snark has gone through my detectors like a Ginsu through an overripe tomato.

    @Someguy: are you another Howell Heflin apologist? Probably the best impression Al Franken ever did, at least tied with his ghost of Strom Thurmond, if I am this time thinking of the right guy, a talking bullfrog from Alabama?

  43. 43
  44. 44
    Cacti says:

    Surprised this one hasn’t made the front page yet…

    The suspected ring leader of the Benghazi attacks has been captured in Libya. Will be transferred to the US for trial in the criminal court system.

    Wingers everywhere are having a gigantic meltdown at the loss of a cherished talking point.

  45. 45
    Trollhattan says:

    @catclub:
    They got, what, half a billion bucks at one bank? That buys a lot of friends.

  46. 46
    me says:

    @Someguy: As a resident of that district, I’d take Les Aspin’s corpse over Paul Ryan any day.

  47. 47
    Belafon says:

    @Cacti: No, they already have their talking point: Obama is trying to help Hillary’s book tour with this capture. No, really:

    A Fox News anchor suggested that President Obama captured one of the alleged architects of the September 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi to boost Hillary Clinton’s presidential prospects.

    Speaking on Fox News’ Outnumbered just moments after news broke that the United States had captured Ahmed Abu Khattala, [Lisa Kennedy Montgomery] mused, “you have a former Secretary of State who is in the middle of a high profile book tour, I think this is convenient for her to shift the talking points to some of the things she has been discussing.”

  48. 48
    Cacti says:

    @Belafon:

    They’re also yapping about him not being tried in the secret kangaroo courts of Gitmo.

  49. 49
    D58826 says:

    @Cacti: The capture was to distract from ISIS in Iraq. ISIS in Iraq is to distract from Bergdahl who was to distract from Benghazi. Which as everyone knows is to distract from the IRS. The IRS was to distract from Fast and Furious, which was to distract from the new black panthers and all of which was to distract from the nclang in the white house.

  50. 50
    Cacti says:

    @D58826:

    You forgot the birth certificate.

  51. 51
    The Dangerman says:

    @Belafon:

    Obama is trying to help Hillary’s book tour with this capture.

    Fucking amateur; he should have studied the professionals that raise the Terror Alert Color just prior to an election.

  52. 52
    Soonergrunt says:

    Ospreys would have a use in an embassy NEO, but the Marines didn’t bring enough of them. The Amphibious Transport Dock USS Mesa Verde, which split off from it’s group to join the current task force in the Arabian Gulf, only carries 2 Ospreys. There are none aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush. The Mesa Verde is part of the USS Bataan amphibious ready group. The Bataan ARG is currently part of the US Fifth Fleet, which is the Naval compenent to USCENTCOM.
    I don’t know where the rest of the Bataan group is right now, but they are ships and can move, so…

    Meanwhile, 100 of the 275 personnel recently deployed to Baghdad are a separate task force to setup and operate a contingency airfield/landing zone, so as long as they have a relatively open space, they can undertake AVOPS.

  53. 53
    Trollhattan says:

    @Cacti:

    Only Cuba has adequate kryptonite rays sufficient to stanch his superpowers, which doubtless include flying, laser eyes (“pew-pew”) and sonic farts. Bring him into the States proper, and no telling what unholy hell he can unleash. Also, too, latte-sipping.

  54. 54
    catclub says:

    @Trollhattan:

    and sonic farts

    That ain’t nothing, haven’t you heard the term ‘silent but deadly’? Every third grader knows.

    Ultrasonic farts, though,…

  55. 55
    D58826 says:

    @Cacti: ah yes, shame on me. And Michelle’s whitey tape. So many distractions and so little time.. I did see an article where the citizen Benghazi investigators do not believe the Ambassador died of smoke inhalation. They want to see the autopsy report. Which, like the birth certificate and the long form, they will not believe even when they have it.

  56. 56
    Patricia Kayden says:

    Great post, Richard. I say it’s a mess over there now (thanks President Bush) and we shouldn’t get sucked back into a ground war. Perhaps some targeted strikes at ISIS, but the US cannot afford another Iraq adventure.

  57. 57
    Corner Stone says:

    I think Rula Jebreal is really beautiful, but she is totes cray.

  58. 58
    Corner Stone says:

    @some guy:

    Hopefully, the Quds Brigade can help the Maliki government take back some of the territory

    I’ve read this a few times now and can’t decide. Really good snark, unironic irony, or actually hopeful?

  59. 59
    Ben Cisco says:

    OT, but apparently North Carolina’s REAL problem is that its “traditional” population is not growing fast enough.

    No, really.

    What a freaking jackwagon.

  60. 60
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I asked Cole the other day where Bernd has been but I don’t think he ever answered.
    I thought some of his analysis was pretty good, or at least useful. The hilarious part was that after a couple posts containing amazingly mild critiques of Obama, he was relentlessly harassed for like the next four posts no matter how much his posts agreed with an Obama decision or policy.

  61. 61
    Suffern ACE says:

    @Belafon: “The special services who captured him are not ‘heros’ who risk their lives. They are political flunkies, hacks, and shameless thugs,” he went on to shout before they took him away.

  62. 62
    Corner Stone says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    I miss EDK a little bit. It was fun to needle him, when he put up ridiculous posts heh indeeding MY. Truth be told, I think the jackals and the hyenas of the comment section scared them.

    He put up post after post just littered with empty RW talking points or catch phrases. I had no choice.

  63. 63
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Plus, they can probably make Iraq into a second Texas, which, given that Rick Perry* has achieved the reverse, ought to count for something.

    *Who apparently is considering retiring to.. California!

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Ben Cisco:

    Is that the new “you can vote as long as your grandfather voted”?

    Which I only just now realized was probably also used to prevent naturalized citizens from voting, particularly if said naturalized citizens were not the “correct” religion (i.e. some of those filthy Papists from Ireland and/or Italy).

    (Corrected grammar because it’s almost lunchtime and I’m freakin’ starving.)

  65. 65
    Librarian says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: If I remember correctly, Chris Farley did Howell Heflin, Dana Carvey did Strom Thurmond, and Al Franken did Paul Simon.

  66. 66
    Corner Stone says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    Meanwhile, 100 of the 275 personnel recently deployed to Baghdad are a separate task force to setup and operate a contingency airfield/landing zone,

    The other 175 busied themselves with the task of sewing bungee cords to the back of the shirt of every person in the embassy. When asked why bungee, they explained, “Makes it easier to snap ’em into a drag line when this shithole goes all tits up and we have to unass the AO, mucho vamanos.”

  67. 67
    Morzer says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    According to Sooner, M_C was emailing him in a polite and reasonable way in the recent past. She had a new Twitter at sutjihadi, but that seems to have been disappeared recently.

  68. 68
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Soonergrunt:

    That’s kind of what I was assuming — the additional troops are there to facilitate an evacuation in case it becomes necessary, not to start Surge Part 3: The Surginating.

  69. 69
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Corner Stone: He’s really backed off social media all together. He hasn’t posted to his Facebook since January 1, right after he posted a GBCW-type entry on his personal blog, which is now totally defunct. He said some time back that he was very busy with a research project–he’s on staff at the National War College. Other than that, I don’t know anything about him.

  70. 70
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Corner Stone: That’s not a bad idea, and actually we have something kind of like that already.

  71. 71
    NonyNony says:

    @Belafon:

    Jeebus that’s messed up.

    Is there something in the hiring contracts at Fox News that require their hosts to make everything a political conspiracy? Or does it just work out that way because of the people they would be inclined to hire?

  72. 72
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Ben Cisco: From what I can tell, the largest of the traditional populations was the Catawba, although the Cherokee and the Tuscarora seem to have been sizable as well. He’s right, that their populations really aren’t growing fast enough.

  73. 73
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Mnemosyne: Ooh, totally stealing that!

  74. 74
    sharl says:

    You guys asking about former front-pager Bernard Finel got me curious. It looks like he up-and-disappeared from the social media sites he used to occupy – at least the ones I have access to.

    His own (former?) site bernardfinel.com now kicks back a 504, and his last tweet was in December, and suggests his disappearance was intentional:

    New Blog Post: So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish http://www.bernardfinel.com/?p=2188

    He is supposedly on Facebook and maybe LinkedIn (from the list of Google results), so folks with accounts at those places can presumably check in to see if he is still active at either of those.

    ETA, I see Sooner has addressed this already. That’s particularly good, since I’m in moderation.

    NOT ANYMORE. -sg

  75. 75
    MomSense says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Surge Part 3: The Surginating.

    It’s probably wrong of me to laugh at this mess but that did make me chuckle. Who will play the lead Surginator? I think Bruce Willis is getting a little old for this kind of thing. Ryan Gosling? Channing Tatum?

  76. 76
  77. 77
    ⚽️ Martin says:

    @NonyNony: Fox News is the black hole of victimization. Everything is out to get conservatives – everything.

  78. 78
    D58826 says:

    @MomSense: ted cruz w/o a doubt:-)

  79. 79
    catclub says:

    @MomSense: Carol Channing.

  80. 80
    catclub says:

    George Will calls on GOP presidential aspirants to admit Iraq War was a mistake.
    This was a link that Political Animal fooled me into clicking.
    The demand comes after the many paragraphs of Benghazigate exposition. It also does not mention the name of the President before Obama.

  81. 81
    MomSense says:

    @D58826:

    Just as soon as he finishes the complete works of Dr. Seuss.

    @catclub:

    Well hello Baghdad, yes hello Baghdad..one of your old favorite wars from way back when

  82. 82
    catclub says:

    @MomSense: Square cut or pear shape, Iraq won’t lose their shape.

  83. 83
    Mandalay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    BTW whatever happened to BJ’s own Benghazi FP troll? I think his name was Bernard Fine or Finel or something like that?

    I posted here a couple of weeks ago that he had written an awesome final blog on his web site (which seems to be down) at the start of the year saying he had realized he was a bore, and had decided to stop blogging altogether.

    If only a few more of us had his wisdom.

  84. 84
    Mandalay says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    BTW whatever happened to BJ’s own Benghazi FP troll? I think his name was Bernard Fine or Finel or something like that?

    I posted here a couple of weeks ago that he had written an awesome final blog on his web site (which seems to be down) at the start of the year saying he had realized he was a bore, and had decided to stop blogging altogether.

    If only a few more of us had his wisdom.

  85. 85
    Liberty60 says:

    Obama no doubt captured that Benghazi guy for the sole purpose of embarrassing and victimizing the guys at Power Line, who are trying to construct the narrative of the failure of the Obama Presidency.

    Classic Alinskyite tactic, that is. Or Cloward Piven. Could be a fusion of the two. He’s just that devious.

  86. 86
    Gravenstone says:

    @some guy:

    Not sure if that is doable, but serious economic sanctions against all members of the Gulf Cooperation Council would be a good way to get the ball rolling.

    So you’re tired of that sweet Arabian crude oil, eh? Because if we put up sanctions on the Saudis, it’s i 1973 all over again. Fortunately, we’re probably better positioned to withstand a boycott this go around.

  87. 87
    Mandalay says:

    @catclub:

    George Will calls on GOP presidential aspirants to admit Iraq War was a mistake.

    Beautifully played George. That will surely have the Clinton camp scurrying around like headless chickens.

  88. 88
    Jewish Steel says:

    @schrodinger’s cat:

    Along with Boer De Freddie and Kain E. D.

    A sacrificial clown is good for group cohesion. Obot, Hilbot, Firebagger. We all come together when faced with ideological mediocrities.

  89. 89
    Morbo says:

    @Corner Stone: I’d say a mix of #2 and #3.

  90. 90
    Goblue72 says:

    @Belafon: I thought the plural of osprey was Defense Dept budget bloat?

  91. 91
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @catclub:

    It also does not mention the name of the President before Obama.

    Why didn’t he mention the Clenis? The way this works is that we launched the Iraq War during Clinton’s third term, and the surge was during the Obama pre-election term.

  92. 92
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @catclub:

    It also does not mention the name of the President before Obama.

    Why didn’t he mention the Clenis? The way this works is that we launched the Iraq War during Clinton’s third term, and the surge was during the Obama pre-election term.

  93. 93
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Ack sorry about the dupe. FYWP

  94. 94
    Goblue72 says:

    @Belafon: When your target audience is in early stage dementia & wearing Depends, that all makes sense.

  95. 95
    D58826 says:

    @Liberty60: House Armed Services chairmen McKeon says that the world is a safer place now that this guy has been captured.

    seems he has forgotten something:

    The FBI believes other groups were also involved in the Benghazi attacks and is pursuing criminal charges against several individuals, including Abu Sufian bin Qumu, the leader of Ansar al-Sharia in the Libyan city of Darnah. Bin Qumu has also been designated a terrorist by the State Department, as has his group.
    In 2007, Bin Qumu was released from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and sent to Libya, where he was detained. Gaddafi’s government released him in 2008.

    Now WHO was president in 2007??????

  96. 96
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Cacti: It’s not just wingers.

    Abu Khattala wasn’t extradited by a normal criminal process. Wasn’t — so far as we know — Mirandized. Is being held chargeless and without counsel in a CIA black site somewhere. IOW no due process.

    And probably just a pawn, like when we grabbed Bin Laden’s (or was it Mullah Omar’s) chauffeur.

    Besides, American troops on the ground in Libya means this is another Obama invasion.

  97. 97
    Birthmarker says:

    @D58826: lol, great Cliff’s.

  98. 98
    The Other Chuck says:

    @D58826: Obama has been president ever since he faked his own birth. Except for all the parts where good stuff happened, those were Reagan.

  99. 99
    PhilbertDesanex says:

    @Cacti: Nah, they are Medusa: each RWNJ talking point we kill, spawns many, many more

  100. 100
    Holden Pattern says:

    @Gravenstone:

    So you’re tired of that sweet Arabian crude oil, eh? Because if we put up sanctions on the Saudis, it’s i 1973 all over again. Fortunately, we’re probably better positioned to withstand a boycott this go around.

    Can’t be done under the current US (and international) political economy. Let’s say we stop buying Saudi crude and start buying oil somewhere else (assuming we can even do that given what our refineries can handle). Oil is a global market — the price is set globally. The Saudis will just sell to someone else — they don’t give a shit who buys the stuff. Without a net reduction in demand, the price will not move, and the Saudis will make just as much money.

    The only way to hurt the Saudis is to reduce worldwide demand for petroleum. Good luck with that.

  101. 101
    Goblue72 says:

    @Holden Pattern: China is going very very big with solar – though in their case, it means primarily freeing themselves from coal. The cost of solar keeps falling. It’s not there yet, but every year it gets closer to cost parity with coal.

    To get off oil, we need an electric car infrastructure. Powered by a renewables grid. Elon Musk is a glibertarian of the first order, but open sourcing Tesla is a great step.

    Sounds like fantasy but every year we get closer.

  102. 102
    Holden Pattern says:

    @Goblue72:

    I’m all in favor of increased solar and wind. Nuclear has its own problems, particularly when the profits are privatized but the risks socialized. With any luck, we will eventually reduce petroleum usage to limited cases where the power can’t be generated and stored as electricity.

    What I’m saying is that there is no model under which the US or the rest of the world can use reduced reliance on petroleum as a mode of imposing financial sanctions on the Saudis. There’s a reason that no American politician really bitches publicly about the human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia or about the funding flow from Saudis to Sunni terrorists.

  103. 103
    some guy says:

    Did I miss Cacti? Suprised he didn’t Crow about the advances his pals have made in recent days. You would think a vocal super of the “rebels” like Cacti would gloat about how far and fast his favorite armed jihadis have come.

  104. 104
    johnny aquitard says:

    @D58826: Very nice. A more concise summary of wingnut conspiracies and explication of what’s at the core of the wingnut psyche cannot be found anywhere.

  105. 105
    The Other Chuck says:

    Clearly the plural is “Osprii”

  106. 106
    D58826 says:

    OT but Issa’s committee has subpoenaed Lois Lerners hard drive. If it doesn’t appear in a timely manner will he charge it with contempt/

  107. 107
    Cacti says:

    @some guy:

    Did I miss Cacti? Suprised he didn’t Crow about the advances his pals have made in recent days.

    It’s a pity that the “democratic” Maliki government has to import the Iranian army to keep him in place, since his own has no interest in fighting for him.

    I had no idea you were a fan of the Supreme Ayatollah’s forces.

  108. 108
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cacti: What does your response have to do with ISIS?

  109. 109
  110. 110
    The Pale Scot says:

    @Holden Pattern:

    The only way to hurt the Saudis is to reduce worldwide demand for petroleum. Good luck with that.

    Or torpedo a tanker in the gulf without attribution, goodbye maritime insurance.

    Saudi’s scream for protection, the USN says, sure, How much were you thinking of paying?

  111. 111
    coin operated says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I said something similar in a previous thread. Wonder why the wingnuts aren’t cheering the Sunni on. Oppressed by the government…check. 2nd Amendment Remedy…check. Wingnut eutopia!!!

  112. 112
    Cacti says:

    @Corner Stone:

    What does your response have to do with ISIS?

    Just clarifying whether the new progressive position is to support the theocratic government of Iran in a war between rival Islamist factions.

  113. 113
    The Other Chuck says:

    @The Pale Scot: Something tells me the price spike would spread the pain around. Not to mention the blowback.

  114. 114
    D58826 says:

    @Cacti: Well if the US/UK could make common cause with Stalin in order to deal with the more immediate threat of Hitler, I suspect the world will keep spinning if the US and Iran make common cause to defeat ISIS. It has nothing to do with approval of the Iranian government. Foreign policy never has been a morality play in spite of all the religious sermonizing by national leaders.

  115. 115
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cacti:

    Just clarifying whether the new progressive position is to support the theocratic government of Iran in a war between rival Islamist factions.

    I’m not sure either, I guess. Maybe we should ask the USG if it is their position to buttress the IRG in a sectarian blood feud in Iraq?
    Because these same dudes were the ones trying to kill Assad in Syria. And they may very well decide to go back and finish the job.
    So…is it your position we should have been supplying arms and materiel to these guys in Syria?

  116. 116
    Corner Stone says:

    @D58826:

    if the US and Iran make common cause

    Huh. Ask our betrothed Israel and KSA if they’d enjoy us making common cause with Iran.
    And then what happens? As Iran is the biggest backer of Assad in Syria.
    Hmmm, maybe we don’t actually want Assad out in Syria. He’s not exactly “our bastard” but at the same time, ISIS probably would never be, either.

  117. 117
    Cacti says:

    @Corner Stone:

    As Iran is the biggest backer of Assad in Syria.

    And the primary state sponsor of Hezbollah.

  118. 118
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cacti: So, then backing ISIS in Syria is a blow for freedom?

  119. 119
    Cacti says:

    @Corner Stone:

    So, then backing ISIS in Syria is a blow for freedom?

    The only action I’ve ever supported in Syria was international action over the use of chemical weapons.

    some guy has been attacking the particular straw man you mention for a while now because I don’t share his position that Assad is the good guy in this particular conflict.

    My default position in other nation’s civil wars is don’t get involved.

  120. 120
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cacti:

    some guy has been attacking the particular straw man you mention for a while now because I don’t share his position that Assad is the good guy in this particular conflict.

    No, I don’t think that’s it. I seriously doubt he believes or has stated Assad is the aggrieved party here. If you feel he has, please quote that statement or statements.
    There’s not much of a strawman there after that false idea has been removed.

  121. 121
    mclaren says:

    Who gives a shit?

    Why should any America give a flying fuck what happens in Iraq?

  122. 122
    socraticsilence says:

    @Someguy:

    But that’s kind of the point– they need to do a lot more than that to take Baghdad. You honestly think the same Sadrists who stood up to combined arms assaults by the US military that was basically just trying to assert control, is going to roll over for a group that by its own admission and twitter postings will massacre them if they surrender?

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