Breakdown Dead Ahead

This certainly sounds ominous:

The 300 U.S. advisers authorized to assist the Iraqi security forces will find an army in crisis mode, so lacking in equipment and shaken by desertions that it may not be able to win back significant chunks of territory from al-Qaeda renegades for months or even years, analysts and officials say.

After tens of thousands of desertions, the Iraqi military is reeling from what one U.S. official described as “psychological collapse” in the face of the offensive from militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The desperation has reached such a level that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is relying on volunteers, who are in some cases receiving as little as a week’s military training, to protect his ever-shrinking orbit of control.

They wouldn’t be lacking for equipment if they would stop abandoning it, but clearly people don’t want to die for the cause. This cause, at least.






131 replies
  1. 1
    Betty Cracker says:

    Maybe it’s time to shutter the embassy and skedaddle. The mister and I were speculating that the 300 “advisers” are actually relocation specialists.

  2. 2
    srv says:

    You remember when Cheney thanked Reagan for the military he had left for 41 to enjoy?

    It’s just amazing how quickly Obama could throw away the centurion forces Cheney left him in Iraq.

  3. 3
    dmsilev says:

    Let’s hand John McCain a rifle and a (being generous) round-trip air ticket to Baghdad. Should solve the problem.

  4. 4
    Eric U. says:

    that doesn’t sound good. Too bad all my Iranian sources are awol right now, I’d be curious what they know

  5. 5
    catclub says:

    @dmsilev: Cheney and Rumsfeld

  6. 6
    Rosalita says:

    @dmsilev:

    I like Ann Laurie’s suggestion better

    Link fail, see her post from earlier today…

  7. 7
    Ruckus says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    This seems to be the best concept that I’ve heard. Read somewhere there are still 25K people there. That sounds excessive even given everything that has happened in Iraq in the last 10-11 yrs. But then given everything that has happened in the last 10-11 yrs, excessive seems to be the byword.
    If there are anywhere near 25K still there, getting them out in reasonable condition would be a less than easy task.

  8. 8
    Lavocat says:

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Sounds jake to me.

  9. 9
    Ruckus says:

    @dmsilev:
    There are a few names that could be added to that short list.

  10. 10
    The Dangerman says:

    From now until the end of time, Iraq will be Exhibit 1 in “winning a war” doesn’t equal “winning the peace”.

  11. 11
    cokane says:

    should just let them kill each other as callous as that sounds. even lightweight help such as bombing, advisors and/or providing equipment just seems dumb and a waste of money. sending advisors requires security, puts ppl at risk. bombs just makes more enemies. sending equipment just ends up in the hands of violent guys.

  12. 12
    J says:

    God knows I don’t know, but is this really as ‘ominous’ as all that? This excerpt talks about how difficult it is going to be for the Iraqi govt to regain lost territory, but in the last few weeks the panic has been about the complete collapse of the Iraqi government as ISIS advanced inexorably from the Sunni majority territory, where it now holds power, to Baghdad. Though partition is anything but wonderful, the country has been moving in that direction for a while, and it wouldn’t be the all out catastrophe that doomsayers (who could still be proved right) were talking about. Correct me if I’m wrong.

  13. 13
    mdblanche says:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if some of Maliki’s volunteers are members of the former Shiite militias for whom the week’s training is more of a refresher course. I doubt they’ll retake Anbar or Mosul soon if ever, but I also doubt ISIS will be able to advance into Baghdad or points south soon if ever.

  14. 14
    NorthLeft12 says:

    300 eh? I wonder if that number was chosen with some sort of irony in mind?

    I am sure the manly Cons will all rush to man the front lines to prevent those Persians from overrunning Athens, err, Kansas City, I mean Baghdad.

  15. 15
    Goblue72 says:

    You mean getting rid of all the Ba’athists after we invaded was a bad idea?

    You mean the same hardline nationalist guys who are now teaming up with the ISIS nutjobs to try to take Baghdad?

    Can’t we just outsources this to Blackwater?

  16. 16
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    They wouldn’t be lacking for equipment if they would stop abandoning it, but clearly people don’t want to die for the cause. This cause, at least.

    I damn well don’t see why one more American has to die for this utter, total failure of a war.

    The mister and I were speculating that the 300 “advisers” are actually relocation specialists.

    @Betty Cracker: I believe this to be the case as well. Even if all 300 of these guys are Rambo and the Terminator rolled into one, there’s not enough of them to do jack shit in any military sense of the word.

    But they’d be pretty helpful getting the 25,000 Americans left in Iraq out. And I’d be shocked if anyone wanted to stay at this point.

  17. 17
    Calouste says:

    @The Dangerman:

    Exhibit 2. Exhibit 1 is the US Civil War.

  18. 18
    srv says:

    @mdblanche:

    but I also doubt ISIS will be able to advance into Baghdad or points south soon if ever.

    But someone has units all the way to Hillah, it appears. Well south of Baghdad.

    Doesn’t take many to cause a panic in the Iraqi Army, it appears.

  19. 19
    burnspbesq says:

    @cokane:

    should just let them kill each other as callous as that sounds

    That’s essentially where I net out. At some point, the three nations masquerading as a single country within the borders arbitrarily drawn by the Brits a long time ago might have been salvageable. Or not. Now, it clearly isn’t. Time to face reality.

  20. 20
    The Dangerman says:

    @Calouste:

    Exhibit 2. Exhibit 1 is the US Civil War.

    Perhaps, but Lincoln didn’t deserve what Bush and/or Cheney deserve. There should be a daily lottery on who gets to kick one of Bush/Cheney in the balls that day (and what crushing instrument they are allowed to do in doing so).

  21. 21
    Bobby Thomson says:

    ISIS negotiated the surrender of arms in advance as a precondition for allowing the deserters and their families to live

    OR

    The Iraqis realize that open carry just makes you a target for weapons thieves.

  22. 22

    @dmsilev: We can send Dick Cheney with him too.

  23. 23
    SatanicPanic says:

    I blame Obama. He had 4 years to fix Bush’s mistake

    (no seriously, wingnuts are arguing this right now)

  24. 24
    Keith P says:

    What if we dye their fingers purple? They’d be so inspired by freedom that there’s nothing they couldn’t do!

  25. 25
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @dmsilev:

    Let’s hand John McCain a rifle and a (being generous) round-trip air ticket to Baghdad. Should solve the problem.

    Forget the round-trip ticket. Let’s let him fly the plane. That’s always worked well for him.

  26. 26
    goblue72 says:

    @CONGRATULATIONS!: Who will be the last man to die for a mistake? I can’t recall who said that exactly I think he ran for President, but his Purple Hearts were made of fake band-aids or something.

  27. 27
    Jay C says:

    After reading the account of how the “Iraqi Army” seems to have melted away in the face of what seems like (and I’m no militarist, so I could be wrong in my estimations) a second-tier force of ISIS/ISIL, and seem to have little stomach for serious fighting, I couldn’t help but wonder exactly just what having that residual US force in-country (as all the neocons and warhawks are castigating President Obama for “removing”) would accomplish? True, it’s likely ISIS/ISIL – whose main battle vehicle seems to be the Toyota Hi-Lux pickup – might probably skedaddle from a pitched battle with a US armored brigade, but otherwise, what? We would have live “boots on the ground” to waste trying to recapture Mosul or Falluja (again!) for an Iraq government/army that can’t be bothered to do it for themselves? I’m sure Dick Cheney and John McCain are convinced that the very sight of the Stars and Stripes (or the nighttime buzz of a drone) would be enough to send the Sunni fighters scuttling away in fear, bit how likely a scenario is that?

    Of course, since they have no more hostile an environment to contend with than a TV studio (and for them, that’s hardly a free-fire zone), carping about military “what-if'”s is a cheap fight.

  28. 28

    @SatanicPanic: Not just wingnuts. Paul Bremer was on BBC saying essentially the same exact thing. Isn’t he the one responsible for DeBaathification?

  29. 29
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    The Iraqis realize that open carry just makes you a target for weapons thieves.

    @Bobby Thomson: If I’m in a war zone and you come walking on my street with an AK, and I don’t know you, I am shooting you.

    I would think that would be pretty much SOP anywhere in the world, frankly.

    whose main battle vehicle seems to be the Toyota Hi-Lux pickup

    @Jay C: The Hi-Lux (AKA the “technical”) has won several wars and looks to be the winning vehicle in Iraq and Afghanistan too.

  30. 30
    Cassidy says:

    The reality is that people will die because we destabilized a functional, secular country. We broke it. We are responsible. If that’s something you can turn a blind eye to, then go ahead. I’m gonna wait until I hear back from Qussay that he and his family are safe before I just stop caring.

  31. 31
    catclub says:

    @srv: All 70 detainees died in the attack. Ouch. Makes one suspect sabotage in order to cut detainee housing and food costs.

  32. 32
    SamR says:

    Two Syria-related points that affect Iraq:
    1. There were Iraqi Shiites fighting in Syria on behalf of Assad. They’re coming home now to fight against ISIS.
    2. As Syria (and Libya before that) has shown, its a lot easier for rebels to capture territory where they are supported to areas where they are opposed. Ghaddafi ultimately fell b/c of heavy international support for the rebels. Assad has faced far less international support for the rebels, and has managed to hold on (with help from Hezbollah, Iran, and those Iraqi Shiites). ISIS has no formal international support.

    Finally, in Iraq, the Kurds are battling ISIS effectively, and captured Kirkuk, ostensibly at the invitation of the Iraqi government.

    So while 30,000 Iraqi Army soldiers fleeing 1300 ISIS militants shows the absurdity of the Iraq project, I do not think ISIS will capture Baghdad. But there’s still definitely a chance.

  33. 33
    catclub says:

    @Cassidy:

    We broke it. We are responsible.

    Agreed. But there is nothing we can do constructively (military solutions! ha!) to fix it.

  34. 34
    VOR says:

    How many years and how much money did we spend training the Iraqi army? I do not recall if the US Army did the training directly or if we hired contractors to perform the training. How much did we spend on buying weapons for them? And what kind of weapons were provided? My guess is a lot of Russian-made gear to match their pre-2003 equipment stocks.

    I saw the former Iraqi UN Ambassador on TDS last week complaining that we didn’t sell them F-16s. Their opposition was a bunch of guys in pick-up trucks with no heavy weapons or air support. I doubt lack of F-16s is really the major issue here.

  35. 35
    goblue72 says:

    @srv: Helps that the current Horde is not just composed of a bunch of religious nuts (ISIS). The Ba’athists, who didn’t disappear just because we kicked them out of the army, are playing a role in all this. Sure would be ironic if after booting out Saddam, wasting a trillion dollars and countless lives, that we wind up with Saddam’s Senior Executive VP in charge.

  36. 36
    catclub says:

    @SamR:

    Finally, in Iraq, the Kurds are battling ISIS effectively, and captured Kirkuk, ostensibly at the invitation of the Iraqi government.

    So while 30,000 Iraqi Army soldiers fleeing 1300 ISIS militants shows the absurdity of the Iraq project, I do not think ISIS will capture Baghdad.

    Can Maliki hire the peshmerga to protect Baghdad?

  37. 37
    Morzer says:

    http://www.esquire.com/blogs/p.....From_Syria

    We have completed the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons:

    The announcement marks a diplomatic and logistical milestone. Never before has a country’s entire chemical arsenal been removed from its borders, and now the most lethal chemicals are set to be destroyed aboard a U.S. ship at sea. Still, some clouds hang over the announcement. Under a U.S.-Russian agreement reached last year, all 1,290 metric tons of chemicals were to be destroyed by June 30. With the final batch removed only Monday, that final destruction could take four additional months.

  38. 38
    wvng says:

    How many US lives were lost and shattered and billions spent training the army that ran away?

  39. 39
    lukeallen1 says:

    Meanwhile as military expert general wr0ng way Cole talks out of one side of his mouth about “ominous” problems with the Iraq army blah blah he is also wanking off about how much he hates drones and to just not do anything and let it all sort itself out.

    The SAME guy who voted for G Dubya the Texas sized dummy TWICE…including right in the middle of the Iraq quagmire. Yes clearly General Cole has earned his stripes and should be taken even more seriously than Cheney!

  40. 40
    Zifnab25 says:

    The desperation has reached such a level that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is relying on volunteers, who are in some cases receiving as little as a week’s military training, to protect his ever-shrinking orbit of control.

    The Shah of Iran called. He says to get out while the getting is good.

  41. 41
    SatanicPanic says:

    @schrodinger’s cat: I don’t think I’ll ever have the nuts to do something totally reckless and then act indignant when called on it.

    “DUDE, I know, I wrecked your car, but you had like a MONTH to fix it and you didn’t WTF BRO!?!”

  42. 42
    catclub says:

    @VOR:

    I saw the former Iraqi UN Ambassador on TDS last week complaining that we didn’t sell them F-16s

    Vis a vis the get rid of the US AirForce thread at LGM, the Iraqis need to get together with the USAF and buy all of our A-10’s. The USAF doesn’t want them, anyway. They would be useful against ISIS.

  43. 43
    Zifnab25 says:

    @lukeallen1:

    The SAME guy who voted for G Dubya the Texas sized dummy TWICE…including right in the middle of the Iraq quagmire. Yes clearly General Cole has earned his stripes and should be taken even more seriously than Cheney!

    Is this a parody? You do know who GW’s Vice President was, right?

  44. 44
    Trollhattan says:

    @Betty Cracker:
    Remembering last month’s story of rich New Yorkers paying profesional organizers twelve-hundred bucks per child to pack Muffy and Tad’s bags for summer sleepover camp, I’m thinking Halliburton could turbocharge that job description and offer the service to the State Department. The only question is whether the fee would go up tenfold or teh-thousandfold?

  45. 45
    Cassidy says:

    @VOR: We trained them.

    @catclub: Probably not, but I think people need to realize what flippant dismissals mean.

  46. 46
    catclub says:

    @Morzer: wow. Good news.

    I think Syria was afraid of a)US air strikes b)loose chemical weapons followed by being blamed when the insurgents use them. Both of these threats are reduced with the chemical weapons gone.

  47. 47
    Morzer says:

    @lukeallen1:

    So, this is your vote for re-invading Iraq? Or do you actually agree with “wrong way” Cole on this one?

  48. 48
    Scott P. says:

    Maybe the 300 ‘advisers’ are all Spartans, led by Victor Davis Hanson.

  49. 49
    Morzer says:

    @catclub:

    Of course, you know who wanted to bomb those said chemical weapons because MANLINESS!

  50. 50
    SatanicPanic says:

    @Morzer: You mean Iraq’s chemical weapons. You know, because Saddam moved them there something something something

  51. 51
    stickler says:

    @Betty Cracker: Betty: According to Pat Lang, you and your husband are probably correct.

    The roads to Kuwait run through this area. This could become quite important in terms of the ongoing NEO. […] Are there still two US Army combat brigades in Kuwait? the British “Mail on Line,” indicates that there are 10,000 US military in Kuwait. But are these structured in maneuver brigades that could be useful in an overland NEO? The article also confirms the presence of USAF F-16s in Kuwait.

    (From the first post, June 23, on his current blog page. NEO means “Noncombatant Evacuation Operation.” Lang first mentioned the likelihood of the US getting its people out back on June 16.)

  52. 52
    Morzer says:

    @Scott P.:

    “Gentlemen, deploy the elephants and the hoplite phalanx!”

    “General Hanson, we have no elephants and whatever a hop-light phallus may be.”

  53. 53
    Morzer says:

    @SatanicPanic:

    Well yes, of course. That Obama is a wily rascal, I tell you.

  54. 54

    They wouldn’t be lacking for equipment if they would stop abandoning it, but clearly people don’t want to die for the cause. This cause, at least.

    Turning tail and running when the likelihood of being ruled by religious fanatics who think you’re a filthy heretic worthy of scorn, derision and death is a strong possibility seems rather short-sighted and self-defeating.

  55. 55
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Zifnab25:

    Is this a parody?

    I believe so, albeit not necessarily an intentional one.

  56. 56
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Morzer: Awesome. A real foreign policy achievement.

  57. 57
    Belafon says:

    @Morzer: So, Obama was able to get chemical weapons out of Syria by threatening strikes until Russia blinked. I think I’m gonna really have to trust him when he says there’s not much we can do about Iraq right now until the government gets it’s shit together and begins trying to govern the whole country.

  58. 58
    Zifnab25 says:

    @Comrade Dread: I don’t know if ISIS is actually going to be ruling anything. Rebellions like this rarely have a long shelf-life. As has been noted elsewhere, a Sunni militia overrunning a Sunni area isn’t something to lose sleep over (unless you live there, too). ISIS isn’t overrunning the Kurds and they aren’t penetrating into Shi’ite districts, for the same reason that Kurdish and Shi’ite troops haven’t fared well in Sunni districts.

    Iraq is going to crack up into three (or more) states eventually, once everyone’s done sorting themselves out on pain of radicalist slaughter by the opposing side. We’re just seeing the shake up in progress and pretending we can do something about it.

  59. 59
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Ruckus: Every fucking neocon sack of shit, to include Iriving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb.

    These maggots need to spill their shit-filled-guts on Mesopotamian sands for the Likud racist state.

  60. 60
    Citizen_X says:

    @catclub:

    the Iraqis need to get together with the USAF and buy all of our A-10′s. The USAF doesn’t want them, anyway.

    Yeah, but let’s make sure we don’t get in a war with them later. Otherwise, our troops will end up saying, “Hey, those guys are getting EFFECTIVE air support. Our guys loiter over the battlefield for a whole two minutes before bugging out.”

  61. 61
    WaterGirl says:

    @Morzer: Good news!

  62. 62
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @catclub: ISIS won’t move on Baghdad. They’ve got a rep of invincibility to maintain, and assaulting Baghdad will tarnish it. They’ve been “conquering” Sunni areas that don’t have the slightest desire to be ruled by Shia. Now, admittedly, they are a bit nutso Sunni, sort of like the Saudis, who should be erased from the universe…but they aren’t going to press their luck by moving on Baghdad.

    This is the breakup of Iraq after we very wisely removed the Sunni Strongman back in 2003, and basically invited the three main contending groups to fly their freak flags proudly.

  63. 63
    Fort Geek says:

    Time for Operation Dumbass Drop. Everyone working for Fox and all the other right-wing mouthpieces/scribblers, all the policy pricks from Dumbya’s administration, and everyone who voted to authorize the Iraq party get nabbed, thrown ’em on anything that flies and has a door suitable for throwin’ Dumbasses out. Give ’em four juice boxes, four MREs, and a parachute each (no ID/papers and weapons; we’re not at war with Iraq, you dig), fly ’em over there and throw ’em out in generalized “over Iraq” areas (undisclosed locations, of course. Dick’ll approve of that).

    Each one has a note in the local language reading “F*ck Allah, F*ck Iraq, and F*ck You.” (tell THEM, though, that it says, “Hi, I’m with the U.S. Army and I’m here to help!”)

  64. 64
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Morzer: Obama is amazing. One minute he’s incompetent beyond anything the deserting coward and the Dark Lord dared to risk, yet in the next minute he’s more ruthless and efficient and clever than Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Alinsky, and Jerry Rubin combined.

  65. 65
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Fort Geek: Biological weapons are banned.

    @Villago Delenda Est: Also, this is what liberal interventionism looks like when it is done properly.

  66. 66

    We’re just seeing the shake up in progress and pretending we can do something about it.

    We could do something, but it would involve offering political and religious asylum to a lot of Iraqis and I’m sure that would go over really well with the conservative crowds.

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Scott P.: If they are, they’re 150 fighting couples.

  68. 68
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Comrade Dread: They didn’t like it very much when we relocated terrified Vietnamese after the fall of Saigon, either.

    They never want to deal with the consequences of their actions. Ever. Just ask veterans seeking health care in a timely manner, but wait for months because the VA is chronically understaffed.

  69. 69
    Sloegin says:

    All that equipment, money, and training wasted. Apparently its all pointless if the soldiers don’t have a good reason to fight. Why is this such a difficult lesson for us to learn?

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Sloegin: The people in charge do not get up close and personal experience in the failure. They are carefully insulated from the human costs of their warmongering bravado. The Village, for example, learned nothing from the death of Michael Kelley in Iraq.

  71. 71
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: That’s the Theban ἱερος λοχος, the Sacred Batallion

  72. 72
    gogol's wife says:

    @Cassidy:

    This is how I feel — I just don’t know what to do about it.

  73. 73
    Gator90 says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Just out of curiosity, what other particular “maggots” would you say need to spill their “shit-filled guts” for the Jewish state? A few more names please?

  74. 74
    Gopher2b says:

    @cokane:

    I’ve been thinking this for a few weeks now. All of our (self proclaimed) enemies in Middle East are fighting and killing each other. I don’t see how this is a “crisis” worth solving (if we could, which we can’t).

  75. 75
    Gopher2b says:

    @SamR:

    No they’ll just just intermittently cut of its water and flood it.

  76. 76
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Gopher2b: Well, part of the probable is the deaths. Suffering is pretty bad too. And among those dying and suffering people who just want to go to work in their job as plumber/teacher/etc. without getting blown up or shot. It’s a crisis brought about as a direct result of US actions and it is worth solving. The problem is that we probably cannot do anything but make it worse if we intervene militarily.

  77. 77
    Ruckus says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:
    That’s what I had in mind. People not only too stupid to learn from their mistakes but to even recognize them as mistakes. And mind you these were not little mistakes, like asking for maple syrup from the wrong state, eg: New Hampshire syrup when in Vermont.

  78. 78
  79. 79
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Gator90: The signers of the 1998 PNAC letter to Clinton would be a good place to start for a who’s how of the neo-con elite.

  80. 80
    Mike G says:

    @Sloegin:

    All that equipment, money, and training wasted. Apparently its all pointless if the soldiers don’t have a good reason to fight. Why is this such a difficult lesson for us to learn?

    The neocon attitude is “Shut up and don’t rudely interrupt my theory with reality.”

    Neocons are ideologically incapable of recognizing the feelings or motivations of the little people who don’t run in Village circles, whose only job is to be pliable pawns in their glamorous big plans. They’re callous and abysmal at issues affecting American soldiers, so Iraqi soldiers may as well be livestock to them.

  81. 81
    Fort Geek says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): details, details, my good man. I’m sure they could contract with Halliburton…to..er…yeah.

    Okay, change the notes to “Hi, I’m a war criminal. Please direct me to The Hague! $5,000 each!”

  82. 82
    Kyle says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    The signers of the 1998 PNAC letter to Clinton

    If we’re going to reinstitute the draft, these people and their family members would be a good place to start.

    Instead of 300 I think we only need to send 5 combat soldiers to Iraq – Bush, Cheney, von Rumsfeld, McCain and Lindsey Graham. Little time for training, but to paraphrase one of them, you go to war with the training time you have, not the time you want.

  83. 83
    Ruckus says:

    @Mike G:

    They’re callous and abysmal at issues affecting American soldiers, so Iraqi soldiers may as well be livestock to them.

    They could sell livestock at a profit. They see no profit in the Iraqi soldiers. Well other than them being part of the MIC which more American soldiers could be used against. Other than that profit. IOW it’s not an idea that would ever enter their shitty little heads, the consequences of war.

  84. 84
    RAM says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this movie before, back in 1975.

    We don’t know how to do “nation building;” we never did. If we did, there’d be a BMW in every garage in Haiti.

  85. 85
    SatanicPanic says:

    Why not partition the country? Would it have problems like India/Pakistan, i.e. having to move people based on their religion/sect?

  86. 86
    Rex Everything says:

    A Boz Scaggs reference? Nice!

  87. 87
    srv says:

    @RAM: ARVN would have held fast if it hadn’t been for those hippies in Congress and just $100M more in aid.

  88. 88
    catclub says:

    @Citizen_X: In an auction, the US Army will outbid the iraqis
    for the A-10s.

    Flying the A-10s does require air superiority first, so the USAF would be shooting down the US Army A-10s.

  89. 89
    srv says:

    The Beeb says:

    Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski has called his country’s ties with the US “worthless”, a Polish news magazine says, providing excerpts of a secretly recorded conversation.

    Using vulgar language, he compared Polish subservience to the US to
    giving oral sex. He also warned that such a stance would cause “conflict with the Germans, Russians”.

    He also used a racially loaded term to describe the Polish stance – “murzynskosc”, which suggests a slave mentality.

    “[We are] suckers, total suckers. The problem in Poland is that we have shallow pride and low self-esteem,” Mr Sikorski was quoted as saying.

    The Chomsky Times is a little less proper:

    “We will get a conflict with both Russians and Germans, and we’re going to think that everything is great, because we gave the Americans a blowjob,” the FM reportedly said.

    President McCain’s Secretary of State must be enjoying all his hummers.

  90. 90
    Gator90 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): Neither of the “maggots” referenced by Villago Delenda Est was a signer of the PNAC letter, so VDE must be using a different standard of some sort.

  91. 91
    CONGRATULATIONS! says:

    We don’t know how to do “nation building;” we never did. If we did, there’d be a BMW in every garage in Haiti.

    @RAM: There wouldn’t be blocks-long lines of truly desperate citizens every time Remote Area Medical decides to hold a healthcare event in a major American city, for that matter.

  92. 92
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    We should re-invade, pacify the country and initiate a program of de-Isisification. After things have settled down, say after about 8 years, we can pack up and leave. Then two years following that, when things get crazy again, we can re-invade, pacify the country again and initiate a program of de-Kurdisification. Then we’ll be on another 8 year stint. Two years following that, when things begin to heat up in Iraq again, it will be 2034 and there is a small chance Iraq will be no longer be an albatross around Obama’s neck, most of the worst of the neocons will be dead or dying and we’ll be able to do four year pacification stints in Iraq instead of the normal eight year stints.

  93. 93

    @srv: Isn’t that Villager Anne Applebaum’s husband?

  94. 94
    D58826 says:

    The first paragraph of an article by James Fallows over on the Atlantic:

    The diplomat and scholar William R. Polk (right) first wrote about the Middle East in the Atlantic back in 1958, in an article called “The Lesson of Iraq.” Repeat after me: “the past is never dead…” In the past few years I’ve quoted his updated analyses many times, for instance on U.S. prospects in Afghanistan and on the tragedy in Syria.

    Note the year for FSM’s sake. After Cuba, Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia, have we learned nothing? No need to reply I know the answer.

  95. 95

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Hi JSF! how have you been? And how is your kitten?

  96. 96
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Gator90: You asked for more names of neo-cons, right? I gave them to you. Also, being rather familiar with VDE’s oeuvres, I think he would include PNAC letter signers, but I don’t want to put words into his mouth.

  97. 97

    @SatanicPanic: I am not sure, Iraq has been strife torn for years now, I don’t know how ethnically homogeneous the various regions are.

    As for India and Pakistan, even to this day India actually has more Muslims than Pakistan.

  98. 98
    efgoldman says:

    @Cassidy:

    The reality is that people will die because we destabilized a functional, secular country.

    Yes, we did a really stupid fucking thing piloted by the worst administration since Harding or maybe Buchanan.
    But…
    Saddam’s rule was going to end somehow (although maybe not between 2003 and now.) He was going to be assassinated, or overthrown, or die of natural causes, or just retire to someplace with beaches and golf courses and girls in endless supply. Whatever happened, the country would have fallen apart eventually, just as Syria has done since Assad Junior took over. The artificial borders put in place by colonial powers in the 19th and early 20th centuries are untenable in the long run.

  99. 99
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Except from an essay by Franklin C. Spinney and William R. Polk:

    …Last week, Mr. Obama, after months of procrastination, said he was considering sending weapons to the Syrian Sunni insurgents fighting President Assad. The most effective of these insurgents are the ISIS Jihadis who are fighting and defeating, as well as stealing or buying weapons from the other insurgents. This week Mr. Obama opened the door to the possibility of bombing ISIS Jihadis in Iraq to support the floundering Shi’ite government we installed. Yet, as Patrick Cockburn** of the Independent has reported, the ISIS Jihadis in Syria and Iraq are coalescing into one proto-caliphate in their common Sunni areas (see map below). This raises the real possibility that we could end up arming and bombing the same Jihadis. Such a development would increase the potential of unknowable blowbacks throughout the entire region, especially for the Kurdish ethnic groups in Syria, Iraq, Turkey, and Iran, as well as the state of Turkey itself.


    LINK

  100. 100
    Cassidy says:

    @efgoldman: The world is going to end someday so why should we do anything about climate change?

    I get what you’re saying, and minding completely disagree, but I think people should understand that this is an ethical
    Issue. By not getting involved, we are making an ethic choice to let people die based on actions we have taken, deaths that are arguably preventable. I’m not sure there is anything we can do, but flippantly denying it’s our problem is not correct.

  101. 101
  102. 102
    Cassidy says:

    @Cassidy: …not our problem….

    Can’t edit in my phone.

  103. 103
    some guy says:

    General Sueleman and the Quds Force are on the ground, stabilizing the situation.

  104. 104
    p.a. says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: if we could synch the interventions with our recessions, it MIGHT help the economy. Halliburton stock, anyone?

  105. 105
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: My understanding was that we were not going to arming ISIS but rather other groups of more moderate persuasions. In part, this would be to give them a better chance of being influencial down the road and, in part, to keep them strong relative to ISIS. Of course, nothing in this prevents ISIS from subsequently buying or capturing the weapons. We wouldn’t be bombing people that we had directly armed. I doubt we will do any bombing at all – except as a part of an evacuation under fire.

  106. 106
    PurpleGirl says:

    We built a super-duper hardened Embassy compound at a cost of several hundred billion. WTF good is it?

    Cheney, Bush, McCain, Wolfowitz, Feith and a host of others can just pick up their guns and report for duty at the Embassy to protect their fellow citizens (and Iraqi civilians working for the Embassy).

  107. 107
    p.a. says:

    Every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, all happy families are the same. Every failed intervention has its own issues. China, VietNam, Iraq. Successful interventions? Korea? Maybe Greece? Philippines? Besides decades of authoritarian rule, a lack of restive minorities a key to ‘success’? (Philippines has minority issues, but it’s not a quagmire/failed state.)

  108. 108
    Gator90 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name): No, I didn’t ask for names of neocons. I asked VDE this: “what other particular ‘maggots’ would you say need to spill their ‘shit-filled guts’ for the Jewish state?” It was a very specific question.

  109. 109
    efgoldman says:

    @Cassidy:

    I’m not sure there is anything we can do

    Humpty Dumpty is where we are. You can have all the anguish about it you like, but there is nothing we can do that doesn’t involve another major commitment of people and treasure.Our fault? Sure. We killed Humpty. He still can’t be put together. Whatever happens now is out of our hands.

  110. 110
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    Every fucking neocon sack of shit, to include Iriving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb.

    These maggots need to spill their shit-filled-guts on Mesopotamian sands for the Likud racist state.

    The full text of the comment that kicked off this little discussion. It should be quite clear from context the “maggots” are the neocons. If it is not, then I really don’t know what to say.

  111. 111
    D58826 says:

    @p.a.: From what I’ve read the ‘George Washington’ of korea and the Philippines happened to be on our side. With George Washington being a metaphor for the leader that can tap into the nationalist/historical narratives of the country. Ho could do that in Vietnam, regardless of what you think of him as a leader or mass murder, whereas the French speaking Catholic Diem could not.

  112. 112
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @Cassidy:

    I’m not sure there is anything we can do, but flippantly denying it’s our problem is not correct.

    The problem is that the Shia and Sunni have been fucking with each other off and on for nearly 1300 years. The situation in Iraq was inevitable whether the agents of conflict were ISIS or an internal rebellion by Iraqi Sunnis.

  113. 113
    Ruckus says:

    @efgoldman:
    This
    There are no good answers. Only those that are less worse. Should we get out completely? Should we try to treat Iraq as a nation we have diplomatic relations with? Should we retain a force there? I’d say #2 or #1. Nothing else has positive value and would require more attempts at nation building, something we(just like any other nation has historically been) are horrible at. The people of Iraq want a nation, they have to build it. We have to learn how to live with what they build, something neocons have never understood. OK that’s just part of a very long list of things neocons have never understood.

  114. 114
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gator90:

    FWIW, I think the reason Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb are specified is because they are the parents of neocon asshole Bill “Always Wrong” Kristol. VDE is wishing that Bill Kristol’s parents had never conceived him, not making a general anti-Semitic slur.

  115. 115
    MomSense says:

    @Cassidy:

    I hope your friend is ok. Right now I am worrying about my best friend who is trying to care for refugees and displaced persons while dealing with constant threats from al Shabaab.

  116. 116
    Ruckus says:

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate:

    The situation in Iraq was inevitable whether the agents of conflict were ISIS or an internal rebellion by Iraqi Sunnis.

    And all we did was make the situation worse.

  117. 117
    srv says:

    @goblue72:

    Sure would be ironic if after booting out Saddam, wasting a trillion dollars and countless lives, that we wind up with Saddam’s Senior Executive VP in charge.


    Miss Me Yet?

  118. 118
    Cassidy says:

    @MomSense: So do I. He’s Sunni, in the Army, hot tempered, and his family is from Baquba.

    @Higgs Boson’s Mate: That’s a very simple and not completely true answer.

  119. 119
    Xjmueller says:

    Didn’t the surge work because we bought off the Sunnis? Isn’t that when al Qaida in Iraq pulled up stakes? When the Sunni tribes are ready to get rid of ISIS, they will. When there is an incentive for the Sunnis to kick them out , they will. It might be a Sunni state, a semi-independent state, oil money, or whatever, but they will play those suckers. Why should the Sunnis do the heavy lifting when ISIS will take the load. ISIS are not locals and will be eventually pushed outs less they become locals. BTW, this can even apply if the war zone includes Syria. ISIS has a very small level of support and the ethnic ties will trump them.

    That’s what I learned from dub and dick’s oily adventure.

  120. 120
    srv says:

    @D58826: We had two Gods on on our side in Japan. One literally, and the other, figuratively in his own mind.

  121. 121
    dmbeaster says:

    @RAM: Actually, we did a pretty good job with that task post-WWII. Of course, the recent warmongers pay zero attention to what that group (who took the burden of trying to nation build very seriously) actually did. They just misuse history rather than learn from it.

  122. 122
    Gator90 says:

    @Mnemosyne: Had Bill Kristol never been conceived, the world would likely be a better place, no argument there. But VDE at #59 was not suggesting a time machine that would prevent BK’s conception. He used the present tense to describe “maggots” who need to die for Israel, which he apparently blames for US militarism. His two specific examples of such “maggots” (though one is already dead) who need to die for the Jewish state were, as it happens, Jews. I was just wondering what other maggots who need to die for Israel he might identify. I’m not accusing VDE of anything; I’m just, you know, curious.

  123. 123
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Gator90:

    His two specific examples of such “maggots” (though one is already dead) who need to die for the Jewish state were, as it happens, Jews.

    Yes, two specific Jews who were married to each other and produced Bill Kristol as their spawn.

    I really think you’re reading too much into it, though I agree it does have some unfortunate implications if you don’t know who Bill Kristol’s parents were and think it’s just two unrelated Jewish intellectuals rather than a husband and wife.

    ETA: Thought experiment — if he had said, Every fucking neocon sack of shit, to include George HW Bush and Barbara Pierce, would the point have been clearer?

  124. 124
    Mike G says:

    @srv:

    Miss Me Yet?

    The only incidence of having missed Bush is that Iraqi who threw his shoes at him.

  125. 125
    Gator90 says:

    I’m not sure what VDE’s “point” was, which is why I asked him. Yes, his comment would have sounded different if he had named a couple gentiles, but that’s not what he did. It would also have sounded different if he had talked about them spilling their shit-filled guts for something other than Israel, but that’s not what he did. So unless/until he chimes in, I am left with my curiosity.

  126. 126
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gator90: All neocons. Every last one.

    Or, as Omnes noted, the signers of that ridiculous letter to Clinton in ’98.

    Let them and their children die for Greater Israel’s security.

  127. 127
    Suffern ACE says:

    @dmbeaster: the only relevant history from WWII we learned was that every negotiation is Munich and every meeting of allies is Yalta.

  128. 128
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Mnemosyne: The problem with Irving Kristol and Gertrude Himmelfarb isn’t their religion or ethnic background.

    The problem is they’re neocons, and, as you noted, they spawned the utterly useless waste of skin that is Bill Kristol.

  129. 129
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Mike G:

    You didn’t click, did you?

  130. 130
    Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name) says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I didn’t until your comment.

  131. 131
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Omnes Omnibus (the first of his name):

    Well, when I consider how often I comment on things I haven’t actually read, or seen ….

Comments are closed.