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16 July 2014

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Babak Makkinejad

Marshal Petain of the Palestinians...

walrus

Ralph H,

"Seems to me that the IDF, to achieve a military decision, needs to flood Gaza with infantry & do a methodical "clear and hold" of the urbanized infrastructure -- building to building, room to room -- while energetically employing ground-penetrating radar and other technical means to locate and destroy the tunnel network from Egypt that sustains Hamas. This ought to be possible. Why the IDF didn't do this in Lebanon and whether they will attempt it here are open questions."

It's not an open question, it's not possible. The casualties of the attacking force would be massive.

To put that another way, look up the Battle for Berlin in WWII. You are talking about casualties on the scale of the battles for Warsaw, Leningrad, Stalingrad and suchlike even if only in miniature.

FB Ali

Col Lang,

"....the soldiers and the tribesmen will eliminate ISIS in Iraq"

I have no knowledge of the situation there other than what I read in the media. But I have an uneasy feeling that things this time around might turn out differently.

ISIS is as fanatical as AQ-in-Iraq but it appears to be operating in a much more sophisticated manner. It allied with the tribes and former Saddam military men to capture territory, but then immediately turned on their leaders, forcing them to pledge allegiance or eliminating them if they refused.

The fact that such actions have not caused any major break with the rank and file of these groups is significant. These people have experienced Maliki's imposition of Shia oppression and may be accepting ISIS as a valid defender of their rights and future.

ISIS also appears to have acted with much more discretion in dealing with the residents of the Iraqi territory they have captured, and taken care not to offend them by lording it over them as alien conquerors (as AQI did). The establishment of the Caliphate has also helped in legitimising their rule.

As I said, I have no special knowledge or insight, but I have a bad feeling about it. ISIS may well not be overthrown from within, but will have to be defeated from without.

Matthew

oofda: And the alternative is for the Palestinians in Gaza to live under permanent siege. See http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/15/us-palestinians-israel-demilitarisation-idUSKBN0FK0TE20140715

Basically, Netanyahu is offering the Palestinians the option of dying quietly from disease versus dying from military action.

oofda

Assume that "dink" didn't mean "double income, no kids."

turcopolier

fb Ali

you may be right but I think not. It is early days and treachery is a fine art in the Arab World. pl

kao_hsien_chih

Perhaps Israel should worry that Ozul is a German of Turkish descent. "Muslim countries" (their governments, at least) may not (and probably don't) care about Palestinians. Muslim persons, especially citizens not of "Muslim countries" clearly do, and, perhaps more importantly, their concern for Palestinians will be seen by non-Muslim citizens of those countries, too (e.g. Germans in case of Ozul). So, Israel will still have Saudi Arabia and the Gulfies on their side, as they lose Europe. Ironic!

jdledell

Col.- I agree the IDF fears casualties, but that fear is outweighed by the IDF's fear of captives. Dead soldiers brings tears for weeks but IDF captives can bring fears for years.

ex-PFC Chuck

A story out of the Fars News Agency asserts that the ISIL is acting in cooperation with the USA, specifically with the CIA. Is this anything more than complete BS? Am I correct that FNA is at least a semi-official organ of the government of Iran?
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13930417001245

kao_hsien_chih

Rulers decide what people learn, and rulers like apologists for totalitarianism.

Fred

Col.,

Regarding the wall in the background of the caption photo; the press should be asking if that is an import from Warsaw, Berlin or if is 100% Israeli. Regarding Iraq, since your first posting weeks ago there has been complete silence regarding Izzat Ibrahim Al-Duri. It is ISIS everywhere all the time. That sure seems fishy to me.

Ryan

McClatchy reports that ISIS captured 52 M-198s and 1500 Humvees. I wonder how many 2S1s 122mm SP howitzers they captured to go with these?

One person quoted in the article questions whether ISIS is capable of operating these howitzers in the indirect fire mode. Not ISIS, but I bet the Ba'athists can.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/jul/15/isil-captured-52-us-made-howitzers-artillery-weapo/

Highlander

Izzies is okay,but Palis isn't.

Well, if "palis smacks of the N word", Izzies is at least the equivalent of "KIKE".

Just saying.

Castellio

I've been thinking about your last line since I read it. I am afraid you might be right. Not so much the nuclear war – although that is a possibility – but that the consequences of American wrong-headed belligerence in Eastern Europe will be major and long-lasting.

In Russia, today's freezing of assets will be (rightly) perceived as war by other means and, more, an admission that the US has no interest in open markets and international competition. There isn't one person in twenty who will believe it's due to the re-integration of Crimea or any concern at all for Ukrainians or their well-being.

I imagine that you've seen the picture of the representatives of BRIC joining hands to celebrate their new bank. The only "white" person lined up with the two most populous countries in the world as well as the major economies of Africa and South America is a Russian. Who would have thunk it?

US economic and foreign policy is a disaster. This can't end well. From 2003 to 2014 its been one mistake after another, and no end in sight. The storm is just beginning to gather.

Ulenspiegel

B.M. wrote: "Right and and I suppose some would argue as well that the Shoah was the fault of the European Jews for clinging to their customs and traditions instead of discarding them and becoming Christians..."

The antisemitism turned racial during the 19th century in Europe. It did not help Jewish people to be Christians, they were murdered in 1941-44, too.

Ryan

So much for Maliki's version of the Somme Offensive.

Meanwhile, the town of Dhuluiya near Tikrit has changed hands several times with the latest hand over to Maliki's forces. I suppose One could consider this to be a consolation prize for their failure at Tikrit. However...

"Residents escaped the fighting by boat on the River Tigris after militants bombed the bridge and blocked off roads leading out of the town. The destruction of the bridge also blocked the sending of reinforcements from the military base near the Shi'ite town of Balad, across the river."

Opps!

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/16/us-iraq-security-idUSKBN0FL0U720140716

bth

Interesting to observe the Kurds carefully calculating the cost of Iranian economic sanctions and border closing for Iraqi-Kursish trade. Will Turkey be able to offset? And can a deal be cut with arab sunni farmers in isis territory?

And concurrently, while the Kurd seize oil fields in Iraq securing their longer term economic viability, the IS is seizing Syrian oil fields from Syrian kurds.

Because of needed trade routes Turkey may have an opportunity nearterm to broker deals with both kurds and sunni arabs of northern iraq and syria.

Bill H

As Walrus says, massive casualties to the attacking force. In addition to the battles he mentions, study also Iwo Jima and Okinawa.

confusedponderer

Oh, it IS a very big "IF". One must see it that way in light of Israel's current Hasbara offensive.

The beaver

Fanto

Who is/are going to bring them to the Hague?

The P3+1 crowd, not a chance !!!
Despotic African leaders are the usual suspects for the Hague but not the privileged/chosen ones

confusedponderer

"... the hostile enemy embedded in a civilian population..."

When you ascuse them of cowardly hiding amongst the Gaza civilians, you imply that they are thus responsible for any civilan casualties that the IDF inflicts on them.

That phrase also suggests that Hamas somehow does not enjoy the sympathy of the population.

Both suggestions don't convince.

Gaza is a very small place.

How can Hamas not embed themself in the population? The Afghans are not cowards for fighting in thos inaccessiblee mountains. They just happen to live there.

Hamas is not at liberty to pick their fighting ground. They are walled in, and the IDF is manning the walls. They have nowhere to go but exile. They have to fight where they are. And that's in Gaza, with 1,7 million inhabitants crowded in a very small place.

The support that Hamas receives from the people of Gaza suggests that they get something bloody obvious:

When Gazans die, it's because the IDF shoots, shells of bombs them, and not because Hamas is in Gaza. It's Hamas then that cares for the orphans. Gazans notice these things.

When the IDF comes around and breaks into their homes to arrest familiy members, or to search the place, or tears the house down, or uproots their olive trees, the locals don't blame Hamas, simply because it is very obvious to them that it was the IDF doing this.

The goons harassing and pestering them every day at the checkpoints, that's the IDF too, not Hamas.

Hezbollah, likeweise, was created to protect Shia areas. They fought and still fight where they live. They didn't choose to fight in those villages and towns.

It was that the IDF came there in their ham fisted pursuit of violent Palestinian resistance and quickly made themselves so thoroughly unpopular that they turned the Shia, who were initially indifferent, into enemies. And able enemies at that.

Cee

As I said, NEVER held accountable! Always an excuse! Always a victim! Enough!!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lillehammer_affair

Charles Dekle

VV,
You can't fix stupid:
http://news.yahoo.com/obama-announces-sanctions-russia-over-ukraine-crisis-010834403--finance.html

It seems that the Nuland/Kagan team are still in the driver's seat.

Regards,

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