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14 July 2014


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alba etie

Dr Silverman
As a lay person , but also a tax payer , I am wondering what is the problem if the Iranians now become the caretaker for the basket case called Iraq ? Furthermore why exactly are the Iranians our enemy ? If I separate the propaganda from the AIPAC /neocons et al from what are real interest These United States have in the ME - it seems we could make a deal with Tehran for regional stability . Indeed I think that the deal with Tehran regarding its nuclear bomb program would be a cornerstone for a new regional power sharing from all concerned . But I guess the issue of the Kurds independence, and the KSA agitation & funding with the Salafist extremist are to great to overcome .


At some point, it must be, that the qualifications you imply Dr Silverman, with you employment--numerous times--of the word "if" are dispatched with. We need the 'if' no more. The results, hard earned over the past ____ fill in the time frame, have amply and graphically demonstrated this. Something IS "wrong". There is no "if". We HAVE a 'huge' problem and its primary location is Washington DC...though you can throw in New York, and Silicon Valley. The people in charge suck. And are corrupt. Hard stop. Let the discussion/proposals/campaigns/platforms begin predicated on this thesis.

My two cents. Otherwise we--the citizens--risk becoming some defacto 'grand jury', endlessly collecting evidence...but not offering up an indictment.


Dr. Silverman and all

Truly, after watching this for the last few months, I am totally uncertain what the US goals really are. On the one hand, the US is supporting the "moderate" Syrian opposition who, it appears, simply funnels US material to the radicals (at no surprise to anyone) and at the same time we send advisors to Baghdad. Clearly, from looking at the videos, ISIS is fully equipped by US arms. Somehow, one would have to be fully naïve to believe that if the US did not want the arms so used, many would have been first destroyed and plans to do that would have been in place to do it.

Is it possible that it is the true policy of the US to support the establishment of an independent Sunni state in Iraq? There seem to be opinions voiced from Iran as well as from Egypt that ISIS has been, or is now, supported by the US. Could this be true? Does the US have a secret policy not to stop ISIS, somehow hoping the radicals can be controlled?



"...same time we send advisors to Baghdad. Clearly, from looking at the videos, ISIS is fully equipped by US arms. Somehow, one would have to be fully naïve to believe that if the US did not want the arms so used, many would have been first destroyed and plans to do that would have been in place." Our policy is pastiche of conflicting foreign interests and the dorm room BS fantasies of the W2P people. As for the weapons you don't understand. Once you release weapons to foreigners you loose all control over them and there is no way to destroy them except on the battlefield. pl



One of my former students at WP was Petraeus' Arab affairs adviser in 2005. He told me yesterday that at meeting on the subject he (a colonel)spoke up to point out the degree of Shia militia infiltration that was taking place in the new forces. He was told to shut up. pl



Thank you for your explanation about destruction on the battlefield.

One would think that with all of our technological talent, we would build in some sort of satellite based kill switch for the ignition systems of all US donated weapons so they would not work it we did not want them to.

It would seem that the Iraqi Army would have expected the US machines to be used against them and have burned the tanks and Humvees before they ran. I guess not.



This seems to be akin to something like Gen. Burnside's statement prior to the assault of Fredericksburg that the canal did not exist, so no equipment to cross it is needed.


"The people in charge suck."

I don't care who rules, as long as they rule well. The ignorant, incompetent, and arrogant fools comprising our elites today have failed. Unfortunately it is highly likely that we are just seeing the first tremors of the coming earthquake of negative consequences from their self-entitled internationalist mediocrity. I want the WASPS back.


Dr. Silverman, I thank you for your observation which I'm sure is correct. The reason for this wilful deriliction of duty - preferring a desired fantasy over reality, despite all evidence to the contrary, has been belaboured by me many times. I suggest that what this committee should be asking ourselves is what else has gone wrong that we don't yet know about?

Of particular concern to me is the probability that narcissistic leadership has infected the military procurement cycle in which case the combat capabilities of the United States may be seriously degraded. but we won't know that until our ships, aircraft, strategies and weapon systems are tested against an educated and technically advanced enemy.

To put that another way, I am impressed by the apparent success of Russian man portable anti armour missiles in Iraq against the Abrams tank and in Ukraine of MLRS with intelligent sub munitions against dispersed vehicles as well as MANPADS. Could we do as well? What have we been testing our weapons on these last Ten years? Killing ignorant lightly armed brown people.

Might our "leaders" be setting us up for another Sedan?



I remember quite well the remarkable hearing in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Iraq with Nir Rosen et al in April 2008.

The video of that session is still online at C-Span:


The testimony of Nir Rosen starts at about minute 37.

At about 1:56h an interesting exchange is happening when Sen. Barbara Boxer asks witness Stephen Biddle if she understand him right that he said the Iraqi Security Forces are Maliki's militia and Stephen Biddle said he said so and he thinks so. But Nir Rosen disagreed and said if the Iraqi Security Forces were Maliki's militia it would be an improvement as actually the Iraqi Security Forces were too much fragmented to just listen to the command of any one leader. From that some minutes of quite frank dialogue of the situation of the Iraqi Security Forces happened in that session.

I find it still worth watching.


Here are some things that seem to have gone wrong, but are proceeding at full speed toward ???




One wonders what the arms purchasers are thinking when they buy combat ships that are not fit for combat. Could this ship be disabled by a Russian man-portable anti armor missile, manned by one insurgent, hidden on a littoral opponent's two log raft floating innocently down the littoral river or on the bay?

Not to mention the too-expensive-to-risk-in-combat F-35.

It's all about procurement and jobs, not the effectiveness. It has been that way since 1775 and does not seem to change.

Charles I

Look too the numerous shoot downs in Ukraine as a indicator of potential too.


"There were some good reasons to bring the Badr guys into the Iraqi Security Forces."

No doubt, beginning with the massive wasta they had with the population at large. I spent years with Arab Muslims - even now I don't understand a lot of things that happened. Did the decision makers count on people who actually had experience in Iraq, or with Arab Muslims in general?


"There were some good reasons to bring the Badr guys into the Iraqi Security Forces. "

And what good reasons would those have been precisely? Within weeks of Badr cadres returning from Iran death squads targeting former armed forces officers (and former Airforce in particular) began their activities. Even their fellow shi'i called the Badrists 'Iraniyeh' and they were and are right to do so. Badr brigades operated openly as death squads during the ethnic cleansing of Baghdad - so I would really like to know what possible reason you have to say:

"There were some good reasons to bring the Badr guys into the Iraqi Security Forces."




to quote Admiral Beatty

"There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today"

Of course the British had more battleships than Imperial Germany so it worked out in the end.

Charles I

bad press over IED's?


In reply to Charles I 16 July 2014 at 12:11 PM

No, not because it's inherently implausible but because of timing, the American occupation authorities forced the Iraqis to accept Badr personnel into their army (which was bad enough). But also they actively connived with Badr seizing control of the Ministry of Interior troops/gendarmerie. Helping Abdul Azziz al-Hakim and his henchmen seize control of the MoI and its gendarmerie was one of the first and worst things they did and they did it within weeks of Bremer's arrival. In other words they did it long before the bombing campaign started. The man who did this for Bremer was a retired US colonel - Colonel James Steel, who by all accounts had many years experience in working with organising death squads in Central America. Googling for Steele will pull up a lot of information but to get you started if you're interested is this joint guardian/BBC documentary:



Charles I

thanks, my guess, your work, Thanks for Steele cite, can always use any Central American angles and cites for my absurd narcopolitics files.

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