« Iraq diary - 22 June 2014 | Main | Baiji has Fallen »

23 June 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


It's millions, Peggy. From what I have seen it seems they took around a half a million dollars.

Here's an article from the Guardian that goes into this and how ISIS funds itself.



The who is flying all those really expensive aircraft that the Saudis keep buying? Foreigners?

Richard Armstrong

Any US military presence in the ME that is not planned as a permanent presence (like Germany) will only delay the inevitable. And we all know that the US will never go for a permanent presence. We look at war like a televised game. Kick butt then get on the busses and go home.

The Shia and the Sunni want to kill each other? So what? When and if one side decisively wins and if they truly threaten the US then we can wage total war like we did against the Confederacy, the Germans and the Japanese. None if them have seemed to have caused the US any problems since. (Except perhaps electorally.)


Dear Col:

I appreciate you listening to the chat shows, I dont have the stomach for it.

So empty hair Kerry is at it again, and the echo chamber of the media is filled with everyone's BFF, the neocons, pushing the FP debate to insert US forces and target something with explosives. To date, Obama has shown minimal ability to resist their imprecations, possibly for narcissism, or possibly due to agreement (note staffing choices).

Saker is reporting that Sadr forces have declared US soldiers as enemies to be attacked. Assuming DC listens to anything outside the bubble, and absent a SOFA, then, beyond embassy evacuation, US forces would have to watch their back really carefully as they defend Maliki's Shiite govt.

Meanwhile the BBC seems to have finally awoken to ISIS actually following a strategy.

Seems like a SNAFU CF in the making.


For you, Tyler.

Somewhere, this man is having the last laugh.




The Saudis can be made into reasonably good
"stick and rudder" men but beyond that they have no ability in combat staff work, maintenance or any of the rest of it. A while back they had Pak AF flying Saudi AWACS. pl


Funny, my director stopped me in the hall last Friday and asked if I was still interested in that foreign assignment. (we had been talking about our operations in Australia previously). Sure I say. Great, he replies, we've got three promotion spots - in Dubai. What a great time to reorganize our operations in the Middle East.



“ … Chuck Todd. He has been saying for days that "people in Washington," are telling him that Iraq will be "Yemenized" as a matter of policy.” Whose policy is he talking about? Chuck must be reading some of those power points from Ann Marie Slaughter’s classes, or were those briefing papers for Hillary? The only semblance to reality seems to be ‘slaughter’, which is what is probably going to happen to somebody the way they disintegrate rather than fight.


In reply to confusedponderer 23 June 2014 at 02:11 PM

Pakistanis make up the effective component of the Saudi air force.




So far all the USA is doing is talking while things fall apart in the Middle East and Ukraine.

Israel wants a weakened Iraq. Iraq is partitioned.

I assume the USA wants to replay the Awakening Movements with the Sunni so it is avoiding bombing ISIS. The ex-Baathists in the Sunni uprising are sure to be heading to Baghdad to be Iraq’s rightful rulers again. NBC News said last night that all flights out are booked for three weeks. When the barbarians start storming the gates, life expectancy of any infidels left in the Green Zone will be limited caught between Sunni and Shiite militias killing each other.

For the True Believers all roads lead to Mecca. Drones are only good for assassination and collateral damage. ISIS knows the Caliphate includes Mecca and requires the beheading of the House of Saud. Are there American assets available and is the White House willing to recreate Desert Storm’s Highway of Death? If not, Saudi Arabia will turn to Russia and China for pilots and planes; and ditch the oil dollar.


WaPo article on the state of the Iraqi Army. On top of all this good news it says that ISIL has captured some advance communication equipment. This brings to mind what J.E.B. Stuart said about the US Army being the best quartermaster he ever had. When he said this he was in Confederate service. The Baath/ISIL can say the same thing.

So, we are having to go from the New Iraqi Army to the New, New Iraqi Army. Great.

BAGHDAD — 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.

“Over time, what’s occurred is that the Iraqi army has no ability to defend itself,” said Rick Brennan, a Rand Corp. analyst and former adviser to U.S. forces in Iraq. “If we’re unable to find ways to make a meaningful difference to the Iraqi army as they fight this, I think what we’re looking at is the beginning of the disintegration of the state of Iraq.”


I think the end of Iraq came on 19 March, 2003. Don't send those 300 troops.

Somewhere, this man is having the last laugh.


Abu Sinan

The Army is just window dressing, poor window dressing at that. SANG has always been better because Saudis have never expected to have to protect themselves from foreign threats, the US would have done so. SANG was built and maintained with the sole idea of its use being against Saudis themselves.

The Army has spent billions on materials that they cannot use and cannot maintain. Much/most of it is stored at large military bases and has never been used.

FB Ali

Yes, SA has many very rich people, but they've learned to stay on the right side of the royals. After Bandar was ousted the King issued a decree making it a punishable offence to support any jihadi outfit (including funding).

I'm sure money still seeps out, but not on the previous scale.


If Israel indeed did buy the Kurd's oil out of Turkey that would be a signal in itself that they are going to back the Kurds whatever Maliki thinks.

robt willmann

Here is an article by Patrick Cockburn of the Independent newspaper in Britain, about the general situation in Iraq; he usually travels to the areas about which he is reporting--




Just have a look how an Iranian state media cartoonist looks on ISIS:


(The monster has ISIS written on its chest in Arabic)

That remarkable cartoon was published yesterday by the German language service of Iran's major state broadcaster IRIB.


"They do not accept the idea of "countries" at all" brought a smile to my face. It's so reminiscent of Israel's situation--a "country" without borders.

The word "Israel" is an ambiguous abstraction that can refer to all Jews or just those living in the former Palestine mandate, depending on the intent of the speaker. When someone is charged as being anti-Semitic for criticizing Israel, the speaker invokes the "all Jews" meaning.

It would appear that ISIL folks and Zionists have some real similarities in worldview...

Margaret Steinfels

The Guardian says it got $1.5 billion in Mosul. Anybody fact-checking?

cville reader

Is there a Chechen component to ISIS? I have read that they were some of the most skilled jihadis in both Afghanistan and Syria.

Also, there have been many reports that link Chechen organized crime to Chechen terrorism. That would seem to fit with some reports that ISIS has raised a lot of its funds through protection rackets, similar to methods of the American Mafia.


Neither do liberinterventionists in North America and Europe. There is a certain irony in something that purports to be the seedling of a Wahhabist caliphate sprouting up where these fellas tried to set up an outpost of the new cosmopolitan democratic secularist caliphate.


"b" (and All)

Glad to see the linkage to Elijah Magnier's interview with the Iraqi ISIS asset. Your remark on the refrain that US help will make us look pro Shia (horrors!) has been hammered home on CNN's coverage (don't get me started!) practically to the exclusion of all other concerns to American security interests.

The newish neocon claques are primarily focused on busting up the axis of resistance ie Iran, Syria, & Hezbollah and have been whining that Obama is in league with Iran for months. For the most part, these folks are aligned with the Lebanese March 14 party interests although few of them are Sunni as far as I can tell.

(Obama's refusal to bomb Assad started things off and the news that our CIA had been sharing salafist terror threat intel with the Lebanese Armed Forces during the recent spate of horrific suicide bombings targeting Shia in Beirut has confirmed their suspicions. That the LAF and Hezbollah collaborate closely on Lebanese security threats infuriates these folks.)

Elijah Magnier's interview was also valuable in that the Iraqi ISIS asset/activist would only hint at something yet to come in Lebanon...does he anticipate Israel softening up the ground for ISIS? Another point was made that the Syrian branch of ISIS was independent of the Iraq version. This rings true as the Syrian version seems more dedicated to clearing the pesky rebel/opposition forces out of their way, not directly confronting Assad et al at this point in the game. Finally, I was struck that Magnier's informant had read Condoleeza Rice's book. The guy is not your ordinary ISIS recruit.

Finally, if I may recommend Elijah Magnier as a gentleman of deep experience and connections in his professional area of expertise who has been reporting about/from Syria and is now embedded in Iraq. Elijah J Magnier is old school in his civility and determined to provide as accurate a scenario as a risk analyst can. A rare man, he gains the respect of all sides for his ability to relay the micro details of ground movements and that he can also reliably speak to the macro of State level shenanigens.

For those news junkies with the patience to follow Mr Magnier on his choppy twitter feed, the reward of an up close look at events on the ground in nearly real time is addicting. In addition, the nature of twitter fosters contributions from other sources eager to share their own specialized information including maps of the rapidly evolving situation.

We are lucky that English is one of his languages.



"... we can wage total war like we did against the Confederacy..."

Yes, your fellow Americans are still not a conquered people. But then you forget all those Indian wars, look what happened to them.


Thanks, Bandolero. I got a good laugh out of that.


Well, they certainly share certain weird dietary habits, John.


Speak of the devil, bth.

Check out this story from Haaretz. It says Israel is buying the oil.


The Kurds denied it the other day, but that was then, not now:


The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
Blog powered by Typepad