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28 June 2014


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That's it? You fast forward to the Place Guard already? Where are the reserves to come from? In depth? And you are right Col, THREE CHOPPERS? That's it? For an assault on a city? What the hell is going on? That CAN'T be right, can it?

The Beaver


Don't know whether this has been posted this week (have been watching 20 guys chasing a ball on a pitch):

Qatar’s military and economic largesse has made its way to Jabhat al-Nusra, to the point that a senior Qatari official told me he can identify al-Nusra commanders by the blocks they control in various Syrian cities. But ISIS is another matter. As one senior Qatari official stated, “ISIS has been a Saudi project.”

ISIS, in fact, may have been a major part of Bandar’s covert-ops strategy in Syria. The Saudi government, for its part, has denied allegations, including claims made by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, that it has directly supported ISIS. But there are also signs that the kingdom recently shifted its assistance—whether direct or indirect—away from extremist factions in Syria and toward more moderate opposition groups. [e.o.quote]

Jim Ticehurst

Col...You last link to the ABC Story on Syrian rebels buckling is a MUST Read..Key points to me..."If not for Obamas hesitation 1 1/2 years ago Current events in Syria and Iraq wouldn't be Happening..".

Quoting a former FSA Fighter..."Nothing will be settled until an Agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia.."

Quoting a Rebel Activist "the AID will only Worsen the Crisis..They want Syria to enter into a New War between the Extremists and Rebels.."
So far the Neo Con "Nastys" and the Progressive "Pagans" have wasted One TRILLION Dollars ...Men..Material and Resources..by Abusing thier Power to experiment with their versions of "Liberation Theology" Are Destabilizing the Whole region which should been left to Its Traditional Handling of "Tribal" affairs..

All the while, We, The American People are suffering Social..Economical and Political Decay..So much for "The Common Good of the People.."

Sound The Bugle..."Feet and Knees Together..Keep your eyes on the Horizion.." Don't jump Out of an Airplane until you Learn this..


Go get a mothballed A-4 at the boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB. Strip off the intake covers and the plastic cover on the canopy. Drag over an APU, see if the thing will start. All analog instruments? check. No inertial platform, check. Pylons incompatible with all modern weapons? Check. Now try to find anyone who remembers how to fly one. There you have an idea about Maliki's "Iraqi Air Force."


Those 130 aircraft would most likely not be airworthy at this point, unless some of them had been incorporated into the Iranian air force and kept flyable. I suspect some were, and some have been stripped for spare parts. And some just sit with flat tires and rusting where they were parked 23 years ago.

None of the aircraft types mentioned,are particularly well suited to the close air support role (there is a difference between the ability to just drop a bomb,and to drop a bomb with a much higher chance of hitting the enemy, and not your own side)(not that the wee difference in outcomes,seems to make much difference to the Arabs in general with the possible exception of the Jordanians).

The only suitable ready to go pilots and support personnel available would be Iranians. And quite frankly, I wouldn't want any of them dropping ordnance within about 30 miles of me.

In my opinion the magic air power is salvation card(which is BS most of the time anyway)is not going to get played in this game.


Utter nonsense about flying the former Iraq AF planes that have been impounded in Iran since 1991. Other than the Su-24s, which apparently have been flown by the IIAF, the others are not flight operative after sitting for two decades in the desert. Plus, WHO is going to fly them? Probably not many former Iraqi AF types with experience in that plane are going to want to fly or be even able to. Perhaps Iranian AF aircrews in Iraqi markings. Also, who is going to do the maintenance and what type of ordnance is going to be used? Electronics, and compatible equipment.
And on top of that, who is going to control the aircraft strikes? This is a total nonstarter.

The outmoded aircraft could indeed cause civilian casualties- when they careen out of control and crash into Iraqi cities.

And this is delusional...“If we had air support, none of this would have happened,” Maliki said in a BBC interview Thursday. He needed and needs today much more than air support.



Bad example, lots of old coots still around like me, with 700 to couple of thousand hours in the A-4. It was such a simple honest jet,even us seniors could still fly it.(It was originally designed as a one way nuclear kamikaze platform. After delivering the nuke, we were supposed to eject deep within Russia or China. No further guidance was given on how, we were supposed to get home from that point.). And yes, I suspect you could still probably get the damn things running again fairly easily.

But, your basic premise about the unlikely hood of Maliki cobbling an air force together is correct. And even if he did, their ability to shoot straight would be in serious doubt. Trust me,it isn't that easy.


"Now try to find anyone who remembers how to fly one."

Well, there's always John McCain.



I’ll be honest, the Ukraine and Iraq Disasters don’t make a lot of sense to me. Either our Leaders’ incompetence exceeds those who started WWI, 100 years ago today, or there is somebody who benefits from destabilizing Russia and from starting a Sunni Shiite Jihad, all at the same time. It sure in the hell isn’t the American people. Whoever who is pushing these wars needs to be placed in solitary confinement for the rest of their lives.


So this story about Tikrit is true after all. When I initially saw it was from Maliki's folks I figured it either wasn't true or was another lie.

Speaking of helicopters, Maliki's guys are claiming to have recaptured the Baiji refinery. There was even a film clip showing a troop removing ammunition from a-- helicopter. I think the IA would do well to have someone holding today's NYT as proof this isn't old footage. It still won't establish the actual location, though.

According to the Montrose Toast website (run by a former naval intelligence officer) the IA has 27 armed recon ARH-407, 8 Attack MI-35, 6 attack/utility SA-342, 24 attack/utility EC 635 T2+, 16 utility/scout UH-1, 30 transport Mi-17 and 25 transport Mi-17E. There are 18 trainers to go with this.



"The moderate opposition in Syria 'has the ability to be a very important player in pushing back against ISIL's presence and to have them not just in Syria, but also in Iraq,' Kerry said."


"A senior State Department official traveling with Kerry later said the secretary did not mean to imply that Syrian rebels would actually cross the border to fight in Iraq."

Well, what did Kerry mean?

I think I have this figured out. The ruling elite we have today is a throwback to the inbred Spanish Bourbons of the 17th and 18th century. Our "leaders" are inbred as well, but in a different way. Such is the way of human progress.

"The official was not authorized to brief reporters by name and spoke on condition of anonymity."

I don't blame him wanting to remain anonymous. If he has any brains he must feel like an idiot putting out stuff like this.


"This is it folks, the beginning of the once and probably final BIG PUSH."

That's right, sir. This is the advance guard of a glorious counter offensive that will sweep the Ba'athist/ISIS forces across Iraq like a broom swept across a tile floor. Many are coming up with the main body thirsting for revenge against their hated foes. Even the rear body desires to take it to the enemy. Ba'athist/ISIS forces beware!

Three helicopters and a platoon of men, indeed.



'"aboard three helicopters?" "A unit that reports directly to Maliki?" Really?'

Your quoting this report made me curious to have my own look at that report. What striked me first was the first word: IRBIL. So, OK, McClatchy's reporter Mitchell Prothero is in the KRG controlled area which is largely against Baghdad. So he likely has hardly any better sources than anyone able to surf the internet. Than I looked for sources Mitchell Prothero does name, and there I only found Al Jazeera, and more Al Jazeera. And then I also remarked this: "reinforced by militiamen believed to be members of the Shiite group Asiab al Haq." Believed to be? It sounds to like Al Jazeera trying to incite sectarian hatred against Shia.

I have also surfed a bit the internet for Tikrit. I found for example a video by Afaq TV from Thursday claiming to show Iraqi army units heading to Tikrit:


I find that looks quite different from commandos "aboard three helicopters."

Other Iraqi news outlets I found report some progress, as Iraqi News reports today and yesterday:

29 ISIL elements including ISIL Security Official killed in Tikrit, says Atta


Security forces free Mkeshifah area, south of Tikrit


Air Force destroys 70 ISIL vehicles eastern Tikrit


Iranian media report already that Iraqi forces managed to recapture Tikrit:

Iraqi troops liberate Tikrit, push out ISIL radicals


I don't think that sounds like an operation of commandos in 3 helicopters, from which one was shot down by insurgents - proven by a reference to an alleged internet video of the alleged incident.

Russian media put a different tune on this. Quote RT:

​Iraqi troops push back ISIS militants in Tikrit as PM under pressure to quit

Iraqi government forces backed by helicopter gunships began an offensive on Saturday to retake Tikrit from Sunni Islamist militants, while party leaders pursued talks to end Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s rule, which is seen as highly divisive. ...

On the battlefield, Iraqi troops have been advancing on Tikrit from Samarra, and have stemmed the militant advance south towards Baghdad.

Iraqi special forces air-dropped snipers inside Tikrit University on Thursday, which had been taken over by ISIS fighters. Helicopter gunships were used against other targets in the city on Saturday, and ISIS fighters abandoned the main city administration building.

Source: http://rt.com/news/169140-iraq-tikrit-offensive-isis/

I have no idea what is the truth regarding Tikrit. But one thing I assume is very likely the truth: McClatchy's reporter sits somewhere in an Erbil hotel room, watches Al Jazeera TV and then passes that Qatari station's propaganda against the Iraqi government as news.


Kerry is worried about the mosque in Samarra.

“Clearly, everyone understands that Samarra is an important line,” Kerry said in Baghdad. “Historically, an assault on Samarra created enormous problems in Iraq. That is something that we all do not want to see happen again.”


Kerry need not worry. The Iranians and the Iraqi Shia will try to take care of matters.

Kerry needs to go windsurfing. No one pays him any attention. The locals are going to deal with the situation themselves.

Medicine Man

The inability of US leaders to admit error and course correct is astonishing. I'm having flash backs to the previous decade: "stay the course, stay the course, stay the course".


The original article says Iran maintained at least some of the Su-24s. According to Wikipedia, they have 6-barrel 23mm cannon with 500 rounds aboard, and can carry up to 18000 lbs of all sorts of bombs. Things hinge on 1) the quality of the work by the Iranians, and given their success in keeping the F-14s going, they deserve respect; 2) knowing what to shoot at; 3) having appropriate weapons on hand

All three issues provide opportunities for the Russians to do favors for Maliki that are apparently perceived as valuable by him.



Let's see who wins. that is all that matters. p



I have just seen that not all western media reports are like McClatchy's from Erbil. The NYT has just posted a fresh report from Baghdad which seems to more realistic than McClatchy's:


Jim Ticehurst

So, Why did the Bank Robbers in Washington D.C. come up with the sum of 500 MILLION Dollars..? Are They competing with the ISIS Bank Robbers in Mosul who got $429 Million?

ISIS also makes $8 Million a Month in Extortion and Racketeering money..but I wont go into those comparisons..

All the Rebels may need now are some weapons they can handle..nothing more..We are not even at the Point of building them free housing,hospitals and schools yet,so why 500 Million..?

If the Rebels need some weapons they should send arms buyers to the "Long Bihn FREE Store" in South Viet Nam..now Hoh Chi Mihn City..It was the largest rmy Base in Viet Nam..The Great Republican President Richard Nixon and His Spooky Side kick..Dr. Henry Kissinger
agreed to pull out of Nam leaving the North Viet Namese (eventually) the following American wepons..They all went on the Arms MARKET eventually..
90,000 45 Cal pistols..791,000 M16 Rifles,875,000 other rifles and carbines..50,000 M60 Machine Guns..47,000 M79 Grenade Launchers..12,000 Mortars..63,000 Anti Tank Weapons,,50 Cal Rifles,recoiless rifles...80 175 mm self propelled cannon..250 155 mm Cnnon,1000 105mm cannon..300 m41 light tanks..240 M48 medium Tanks..1200430 Huey Helicopters,36 CH 47s..73 F5 fighters..36 A1s..10 C 130s..48,000 Tactical radios...48,000 trucks..940 nships..and 132,000 Tons of Ammunition.. and all that added up to $5 Billion at the time..

Since the Viet Namese understand fighting for "Liberation" they could sell or give some of that to the Rebels..and save us the Money ..since we already paid for this stuff..

Surely we cant be the only "Humanitarian" Nation in the World..


Medicine Man,
Flashbacks to the previous decade? How about 100 years ago..when for four years, British and French generals kept expecting a 'breakthrough' on the basis of elan and a full charge by horse cavalry through to the Huns' rear.
"Just one more push"--like at the Somme..


Interesting video, Bandolero.

That is a sizable force moving somewhere.

The driver of that car or whatever type of vehicle it is is taking his life and everyone else's in his hands getting that close to those M-1A1s.



this is the roll of Manstein's iron dice that I forecast. Shia governance over all of former Iraq will live or die with this. pl


Not to be mean about it, but my Navy colleagues who knew him, implied Johnny Mc would have been an excellent candidate for a court martial. If he hadn't had the small advantage of his father and grandfather being 4 star admirals, and he was a ring knocker himself.

Now he has all that mafia beer money behind him. Face it, bat guano crazy or not, that boy is anointed with something.



The question is whether Shia want at all rule over all of former Iraq if the Sunni people in the north and west of Iraq don't want it.

General Ali al-Saidi - he's apparently the one in charge of defending Baghdad - just said in an interview, the Shia intend to allow the creation of a Kurdish and a Sunni Autonomous region, but in the rest of the territory and assets (incl Baghdad and the Iraqi Army stationed in the rest region) they want to create an Autonomous region of their own - a Shia Autonomous region.

General Saidi predicts that will likely bring with it the sad development that the major conflict will shift to Kirkuk, because Sunni and Kurds both want the oil of Kirkuk, but as Shia aren't interested in Kirkuk, the Sunnis and the Kurds should solve their differences over Kirkuk themselves and Baghdad won't interfere.

As a Shia Autonomous region would have anyway most of Iraq's oil, the Shia don't need Kirkuk. So far it seems to me that the stubborn Iraqi nationalist Nouri Maliki stands in the way of such a solution, but with Malikis ousting ante portas, a declaration of a Shia Autonomous Region could come quick to Iraq. If that's the case, I can already see who will cry foul.


The utter cluelessness of all involved would be great comedy if the stakes weren't so damn high.

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