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15 September 2014


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alba etie

Dr Silverman ,
Is it possible in your opinion to somehow bring al Douri and his cohort back into the current Iraqi political process - thus denying al Baghdadi the support of the Naqshbandi organization ? It seems to me that the Sunni Tribes that formally made up the Sons of Iraq in the Sunni Awakening & the Naqshbandis would be the 'anvil ' for the coalition air campaign . What would it take - short of an act of God , to bring al Douri and his followers back to supporting the now Iraq government ?Would Erdogan at least support this effort ?


Why should ANYONE in Iraq care about some "Orders" dictated by an occupying power that had illegally attacked the country?

All that stuff should be deep down in the trash pit.


I will simply point out _again_ that CPA edicts are null and void unless a subsequent legitimate government decides otherwise. What former bureaucrats of the power that launched an illegal war of conquest and occupation think about it is irrelevant the fact is that the illegal regime they served failed to impose its will on the country at the point of gun. In fact they failed so comprehensively at that task that the invading power couldn't extract a SOFA from what they thought was an obedient puppet. The only thing that those who partook of the illegal invasion and subsequent occupation managed to do was wreck the country beyond the point where it can be salvaged. Thereby creating the political and social vacuum into which forces such as the "Islamic State" have rushed.

Commenter "b" above is correct the trash pit is where all that stuff should be.

I'll add that the various versions of "you're only as good as your last gig" is an admonition that those who partook of the catastrophic war of aggression and subsequent occupation of Iraq should really bear in mind.

Why on earth would anyone surveying the accomplishments and the results of the invasion and occupation of Iraq pay any attention to the suggestions and opinions of those who participated in the invasion and failed subjugation of the country other than as an object lesson in what not to do?


Adam L Silverman

Alba Etie: I really don't know. I never had any interactions with any al Douris, that I know of, as we didn't have any in my brigade's AOR. COL Lang is likely to be a better person to ask this of. That said, given how the theology and dogma at the root of ISIL's understanding of Islam takes an exceedingly negative view of Sufism, my take is that there is a way to engage with the al Douris and the Sufis within the Naqshbandi Order. Eventually ISIL will begin to make demands on them in regards to get in line with the ISIL variant of Wahhabiyya that will make further collaboration impossible. Part of the theater strategy needs to include this possibility and have appropriate ways and means to exploit it. In terms of the former Awakenings and Sons of Iraq guys, some have already made overtures to us, such as the Anbar sheikhs. They will all eventually face the same choice in regard to ISIL: conform to our Islam or else...

b and Dubhaltach: you are correct that it was/is unrealistic for anyone to have expected the Iraqis to conform to what the US, via the CPA, told them they had to do prior to the US departure. However, you have to remember that when a lot of these regulations were promulgated the intention was that we were NOT leaving! In fact that was the official US policy all the way through the end of 2008 when it became clear we were not going to get a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). The plan was that we would maintain a force in Iraq of around 100,000 military personnel on a number of bases throughout the country for at least another decade. So sure we were going to transfer sovereignty and officially end the occupation of Iraq. At the same time we were going to stay there, in force, for a long time to advise and assist the Iraqis rebuild their country. Some were still arguing this was possible in NOV 2009, claiming that the new national elections would go smoothly, bringing a pro-US, moderate, unity government to power that would grant the SOFA. I completely agree that this was/is delusional thinking. I can also tell you that I heard briefings from folks within the Green Zone, both civilian and military, that described the rules that we had handed to the Iraqis in a manner that made it clear that they, at least, believed they were going to be the law of the land for a long time to come.

alba etie

Dr Silverman
Thank you for better educating us here at SST . Perhaps our best course of action strategically is to do nothing until & if the new government in Baghdad does include all Iraqis including the al Anbar tribes . I would hope against reason that the Senate hearing today was some sort of kabuki theater to ameliorate the midterm election concerns here in These United States. Its really disappointing to see how much of the neocon agenda still infests our foreign policy . We should be making deals right now with Assad and Rouhani - then we might have the means to not only beat ISIL tactically on the ground - but also have a strategic framework perhaps for seeking political equilibrium so the next al Bahgdadi does not have the means to create mischief . And while we are at cutting deals with Syria & Iran - we should be calling out Erdogan for laying more fuel on the burning fire of the IS caliphate. But again we still are infested by the neocons even almost two terms removed from Bushcheney . Strategerry rears its ugly hog 's breath still today ..I guess I might still cling to thin reed that the CongressCritters will vote against actually arming the "moderate Syrian rebels " - after all its an election year .

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