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08 August 2014


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FB Ali

That sounds reasonable to me. That knowledge implies intelligence penetration of the KRG. pl


As a Muslim, I'm not indoctrinated by gross materialism. And I have a doctorate in something else. And I spent a long time in the region, and lots of time in mosques. And I didn't see this coming. Maybe you did.


This is related to the question I posed above. Can anyone in the 'West' understand this sort of idealism anymore?

I found it interesting that in all the observances made recently about the WWI Centenary nothing was said about the idealism that made such sacrifice possible. See "Tender is the Night" for a summation of same.

We just can't comprehend it.

ex-PFC Chuck

"I am torn between putting more blame on Obama or al-Maliki for ignoring a running infection."

Don't forget PNAC, as Ishmael Zecharia mentioned up-thread, or G.W. Bush and Cheney, whom they conned into infecting the body politic of Iraq in the first place.



"the emergence of powerful, antagonistic idealism" Yes, it sounds like you, personally have "lost it." Are there people as dedicated to this extent in "the West?" Yes, they fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. unless you wish to be banned do not suggest that they did it for the money. pl



You are 100% correct.

An air campaign will prop up the munitions industry and perhaps save Erbil from being overrun. However, God’s Warriors will learn. Like the VC, Hezbollah and now Hamas, to counter artillery and air strikes, you dig tunnels and grab the enemy by their belt to fight them. This will turn into another war of bombs bursting in the sand and spreading chaos. The only way for mankind to survive is for the secular states to settle their differences, agree to peace, bring prosperity to their people, and build strong borders to quarantine violence and disease.

The war against IS will be lost like all the other US wars since WWII since its only purpose is to allow the war profiteers to loot during the chaos of war. A Middle East Concert of Nations to end the Sunni Shiite Jihad is the only way to bring peace to the region.

It is totally insane to try to conquer Ukraine and destabilize Russia. The West should be welcoming Russia into Europe instead of forcing the BRICS nations to implement a new alternative economic system, separate from the West, in order to survive.


Go ahead. A man should be serious about some things. Did they do it for the money? How the hell would I know? Did they do it from the the same fear and distress that fitna has caused the Muslim community worldwide?

People do things for different reasons. Some men fear men and others only G-d, and only G-d knows their real intentions. I think the issues are more complicated than simplistic dichotomies like 'Freedom vs. Slavery" or other nonsenses played out by the yellow press and the warmongers.

This is, I think, an extraordinary historical moment for the Muslims (see Sura 110, and the concept of wala) that has either come from something or from nothing. If it's just a question of beating the drum to save the Kurds, ffs, then let people say it.

When I use the idealism, I use it in a certain, religious sense, not in the sense of subscribing to an earthy, materialist sense. A Crusader was not the same as a soldier who fought in Iraq. Intention is everything.



I was referring to our people, but I don't think IS people fight for money either. pl

Peter Brownlee

@jr 786 It is the supreme difficulty, even futility, of the task that tests and demonstrates faith.

Peter Brownlee

"The birth of the new state is the most radical change to the political geography of the Middle East since the Sykes-Picot Agreement was implemented in the aftermath of the First World War. Yet this explosive transformation has created surprisingly little alarm internationally or even among those in Iraq and Syria not yet under the rule of Isis. Politicians and diplomats tend to treat Isis as if it is a Bedouin raiding party that appears dramatically from the desert, wins spectacular victories and then retreats to its strongholds leaving the status quo little changed. Such a scenario is conceivable but is getting less and less likely as Isis consolidates its hold on its new conquests in an area that may soon stretch from Iran to the Mediterranean."




I apologize if I gave offence, if I did it was unintended.

Few of people in my nation's government are Muslim yet a multitude have PHD's and they didn't see or refused to see the possibility. They set the American national policy that overturned the social order in the region. They still seem to be in denial of the reality on the ground even with a decade's worth of facts staring them in the face.

Peter Brownlee




Ah! The Israelis have close ties with the Kurds, too, and could stir up trouble (not that they would ever think of doing that!)



Two questions. How long until men like Ibrahim al Duri suffer the same fate as Marhsal Tukhashevsk you mention above? Second, what do you see as the "coherent ideology" of the current Iraqi government? Our own seems to be an ideology wedded to the PNAC manifesto and academic theories you mention.


jersey city joan -

Per the UN - Turkey has 21 refugee camps with close to a quarter million Syrians plus hundreds of thousands more asylum seekers (mostly Syrian but also Iraqis, Kurds, Iranians and Afghans). Close to a million altogether. They also have started two refugee camps in Kurdistan, one near Kirkuk, the other near Dohuk in a town amazingly called Sharia. That last one may not be completely built yet, and may be too close to Mosul to ever be used.

None of those folks want back into the cauldron. And doubtfully they would want to go back even if ISIS is defeated. And Turkey won't keep them forever.


"if you have a serious problem, boot it! Don't pee on it!"

I already took my chances painting Nicole Kidman on my wall and waiting a long night for her to come down from there only to wake up startled and find the devil instead and my place ruined. Now I'm supposed to star pissing on him.

I'm suspecting Col. Lang waited patiently to reach 10 million pageviews to finally start his evil plan to get rid of us pestering commenters.

FB Ali


"... the emergence of powerful, antagonistic idealism, in this case a totally committed religious resistance? I certainly didn't see anything like this coming".

Where have you been?

Throughout Muslim history, but especially during the period of colonialism, there have been movements and uprisings among Muslims based on "religious idealism". This particular phenomenon we are seeing today in Iraq and Syria started with the Afghan jihad against the Russians (fashioned by Pakistan's ruler, Gen Zia-ul-Haq, and funded by the US).

After the Russians exited Afghanistan, the flame of this "antagonistic religious idealism" was kept alive by Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda movement, which morphed post-9/11 (and Afghanistan and Iraq) into AQ in Iraq and AQ franchises in many places. The IS is a direct descendant of AQI.

The Bush wars destroyed several established Muslim states and opened up space for these jihadi movements to flourish. The significance of the Caliphate is that it is the first jihadi movement to seize and hold a large chunk of territory, and to declare itself to be an Islamic Caliphate.


Thank you for the clarity of your reply. Sounds to me as if the "investment" by "We the people..." was a solid one.

Will continue to lurk and learn.


Kurdish news reported about 10AM (US Pacific time) that a safe corridor had been opened up from Sinjar mountain to the city of Zakho. They claim about 10,000 Yezidis have made it toff the mountain. Some to Zakho and some to Rojava (aka Syrian Kurdistan). But there are still close to 100,000 left on the mountain.

As stated the Peshmerga and the Syrian PYK Kurds pushed back ISIS 30 kilometers to open the corridor.


Most recently 4 1/2 years in Oman. Did you see an attempt at restoration of the Caliphate coming? I'm simply astonished at this and attribute it to a concrete attempt to eradicate fitna.

I've been asking people if the notion of a restored caliphate, romantic and illogical to the extreme, is of an order different to the, say, mad-hatter religious politics of the taliban et al, or the wackier aspects of Muslim Brotherhood.

This is expansion, not contraction; exposure, not hiding. I think it's something so qualitatively different that it demands more than curt or snobby dismissal as just another jihadi outburst.

Peter L

The President has always compared himself to Nixon. He now has the making of his own Cambodia.


"Obama was begged by al-Maliki in January, February and March to bomb ISIS at a time when it could have done some significant preemptive damage."

--- back in January, February and March, did ISIS have any assets to bomb? Significant pre-emptive damage would be to bomb al-Maliki's army, to deny ISIS the assets they abandoned as they retreated.


A Caliphate as such would not be a menace; but a Caliphate such as that of ISIS would give shelter to every two-bit terrorist that wants to strike at America.


Thanks for your explanation.

i was astonished that there was aa 80/20 split going on, with the 80% staying with the fighters.

I didn't think of the "true believers" at all -- but I did wonder if money did or could play a part for the ex Army types and others who are sick of Maliki and Shia rule but don't actually want to follow the strict rules of the caliphate they are helping to establish.

Your example of Marshall Tukhashevski and the Russian Communists shows that whatever these folks think they are doing, they are probably just sabotaging themselves, their families and Iraq.


A Talking Point Memo reader, Malcolm Nance, gave his take on the state of the Peshmerga and ISIL tactics. He seems to paint a similar picture to what has been posted here. He does not believe that ISIL would stand up to a professional force with heavy weapons. He also thinks that the Kurds will need more American airpower and "forward control teams" for targeting. His discussion of TSV – Terror Shock Value, is interesting.


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