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07 August 2014


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Col: IS should be given safe passage to Riyadh. Let's let the Frankenstein monster meet its maker.


It is time to make sure our weapons depart Turkey in a timely fashion to the extent possible. "Inside job" thefts look likely and soon.


Good on your friend at Sinjar mountain. Jihadis murdered 300+ Yezidi in Sinjar. 200,000 fled and close to three quarters of them are in refugee camps in Kurdistan. But many more are stranded in the mountains and Yezidi children and elderly have been dying of thirst, hunger and disease. Hope your friend has some medics with him.


There are reports on the same BAS news website that the Turkish AF will make airstrikes against IS today. Also the Kurds are recalling all former Peshmerga and there are 15,000 retired getting into uniform and manning checkpoints.

Lot of claims and counterclaims out there on the Mosul Dam. The Kurds claim they are in control of Mosul Dam. IMHO Kurdish claims are as good or better than ISIS claims.


ABC admits that there are conflicting reports on who controls the Mosul Dam:


Iraqi Kurdistan with a 1050 kilometer common border with the ISIS caliphate is certainly susceptible to penetration. The proof for ISIS will be to hold ground instead of just raiding and being thrown back by counteroffensives. ISIS reminds me of the old fable of the bullfrog that wanted to be as big as a bull. He puffed himself up to be a hundred times his normal size - and then unfortunately for him he burst.



You mean nuclear weapons? I don't know that there are any left there since the fall of the USSR. pl



Where has IS been "thrown back by counter-offensives?" pl

Babak Makkinejad

Turkey will do nothing of the sort that you mentioned; intervening to save whose chestnuts out of the fire in Iraq?


airstrikes to save the people!

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:


I knew this was going to go badly for all nominal friends of US in ME when the decision was made to destroy Syria to damage Iran:

Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, Iraqi Kurds, Jordan, and in time others...



Gwier village for one, 80 km south of Arbil. IS was able to take control the area for a few hours until being pushed out by a Barzan special forces unit.

Makhmur, Shingal, Zumar, Mahmoudia, Gogjalil on the outskirts of Mosul, Rabia.....

The IS caliphate has extremely effective propaganda machinery. Its social media network has been publishing lots of claims that they are taking new territories both east and west of Mosul. Some of the western media is treating that as truth. IS is also publishing pictures of their killings in order to spread panic so they can advance without any fighting. It worked against the Iraqi Army in the Sunni areas and worked against Christian, Yezidi, and Turkmen civilians in Nineveh. It has not yet worked against the Peshmerga or the YPG.



No, I am referring to the strategic depots of conventional vehicles, material, weapons, and munitions like those stolen in Iraq that are giving IS the edge right now.

We have discussed this before. Once the weapons are out of US control, they are gone and will be used. Processes need to be initiated to keep them in US control.

As I see it, the IS Caliphate myth-meme, first promoted by the Taliban, is now evolving very fast. Due to cultural limitations of its opponents, no resistance has been organized against it and none seems to be arising soon.

It is sort of like Origin's First Principal of Political Practices--the most ruthless win.

Like in Kerensky's Russia, liberal societies have great difficulties doing the things that are necessary to defeat system-breaking memes that do not conform to "civilized" behavior. Western "civilized" countries, even those of questionable "civilizedness" like Israel are unwilling to execute biblical styled wars where all opposing humans in the enemy's land are simply killed and destroyed. IS is willing and capable of that as we are seeing today in Iraq.

Never forget that Turkey was the capitol of the original Caliphate. Cultural memory and longing for the Golden Past is an enduring thing. As a Southerner, you must know this in your bones. It appears from the photos of the gathering linked to on this site that the dream there still lives. The police stood by watching, doing nothing. The event had powerful sponsors who know what they are doing. There will be more.

Is it possible that the thing is now beginning to metastasize in Turkey?

FB Ali

Col Lang,

If the IS forces' strategic planning is as sound as you fear, then it is quite likely that they have seen that the main threat to them at present comes from the Kurdish enclave, not because of the peshmerga but because of Western intervention through the Kurdish region.

If that is so, then they are likely to concentrate first on defeating the Kurds and occupying Erbil and its airport, whereas originally they had ignored the Kurds and concentrated on Baghdad. This rapid shift of priorities and forces confirms the hypothesis that there is some serious strategic planning going on in their command - probably by former Iraqi army officers, as you suggest.

A Kurdish defeat would pose a dilemma for Erdogan. While a good thing for him, in the long term, by weakening the Kurds, it also creates a new danger for Turkey. Unfortunately, he is probably vain enough to believe that he can handle the jihadis.



So far as I know there are no US "strategic reserves" of equipment in Turkey. So far as I know, everything in Turkey belongs to the Turks as opposed to the "strategic reserves" in Israel that are now being turned over to them. Do you have a citation that says otherwise? pl


FB Ali

I agree. I expect to see a major effort against Iraqi Kurdistan while holding the other areas more or less static. pl



We will see but I would call the actions you describe local counter-attacks against probes rather than a counter-offensive. pl



According to NYT, Old Soldier may be getting American Air Support. If this happens, this will proof that the Islamic State is the Mother of all Blowbacks. But, a bombing campaign will only add more tinder to the firestorm. What is really needed is your Concert of Nations to end the Sunni Shiite Jihad and settle the Palestinian Occupation and bring secular government and peace to the Middle East. Otherwise, these wars for god and profit will spin out of control and merge with the unrest in the Balkans, Xinjiang Province, Horn of Africa, Hindu Kush and the Caucasuses until the world is engulfed in chaos. This is why picking a fight with Russia is insane. We need them on our side for any chance for mankind to survive and live in peace.


Babak Makkinejad,

From your view, how powerful is the meme-myth of the Caliphate as a destroyer of the present national arrangements?

alba etie

There have been repeated reports of CAS being given to the Kurds but with no one taking credit . What do we know about the CAS that has been reported ? AL Jeezera TV had a blurb about sixty IS militants being killed in Mosul in one location.



So far as I know this is Iraqi government air and I would not call it Close Air Support (CAS) which must be controlled and put in in direct support of troops in contact. The claims of ISIS killed are suspect IMO. These could just as likely be civilians. pl



I am sure Babak will tell you that this theme is meaningless in Shia Iran, minorities not withstanding. pl


Colonel -

You are correct in stating "local counter-attacks".

Unfortunately it is a political misfortune for the Kurds to have to defend all of that 1000 kilometer hostile border. Hopefully there is a Kurdish Frederick the Great somewhere in their ranks who realizes that: "he who defends everywhere, defends nowhere". Was that a quote of Frederick the Great? Or someone later?

Babak Makkinejad - You may be right about the Turkish AF. But reportedly they are already patrolling over northern Iraq and have dropped aid to the Yezidis in the Sinjar Range.


Col., what is your opinion on this article?




It is time to support some other ideology that a) jihasist/ISIS or b) whatever it is the neocons are pushing.

Babak Makkinejad

Pretty irrelevant; invoking an institution that Shia consider to have been illegitimate in its various incarnations from its inception.

Shia would consider Khaliphate yet another mental fart...

Khaliphate is not a meme - the idea of meme is largely irrelevant to human affairs, in my opinion.

Take Khaliphate - it is not a single concept; rather, it is a knot from which hangs many many threads of Muslim history and Religion.



"Iraqi Kurdistan with a 1050 kilometer common border with the ISIS caliphate is certainly susceptible to penetration."

The reverse is true also. The caliphate has a long border that is susceptible to penetration - and not just from Kurdistan. We should stop wasting our time and effort in Ukraine and focus on a real strategic threat.


But what about in Sunni land?

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