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13 December 2015

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Fred

mbrenner,

Just which social media firms are there hosting such jihadist sites? As to our vaunted "cyber command" I don't think we have as much capabilities as we are led to believe. The Obama administration couldn't even keep OPM safe from hackers. While there a jihadists all over the globe isn't a fluency in Arabic a requirement for much of what needs to be read online to counter ISIS propaganda?

readerOfTeaLeaves

http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/the-dumb-money

The Dumb Money got squandered, which is both fitting and cheering.
It looks like they're still pissed.
Be consoled 😉

FB Ali

VV,

As good a summation of US policies and practices as I've read anywhere!

Bill Herschel

This is a propaganda piece:

"But in Syria-time, months mean deaths: thousands of them. Months mean people slaughtered, maimed, stampeded, starved, tortured and raped by Assad’s people. Months mean too many conscripted men dying far too young for the sake of defending a brutal, thieving family. Months mean people in leaking, unstable boats, with survivors disembarking to walk across Europe. Months mean the Islamic State planning more foreign operations from inside Syria, not having to contend with competent, capable and professional ground forces closing in on it under U.S. command. In the wake of the Nov. 13 outrages in Paris, how much time do we think we have before these Syria-based terrorists strike again?"

Americans don't want continuous war, now for three generations. But the propaganda machine keeps running.

Syria is 500 miles from the Russian border and 6000 miles from the nearest Georgetown townhouse. How much resolve will Putin have to show before this fact is clear to the borgista's.

Chris Chuba

Other countries may have helped Iraq more but our support for Iraq was substantial.
1. We used our status on the security council to block Iran's complaint before the U.N regarding Iraq's use of chemical weapons. Had we allowed this to go through then this would have opened the door to more material sanctions against Iraq.
2. We gave Iraq satellite intelligence late in the war that helped them concentrate their chemical weapons arsenal late in the war. I believe they were using artillery as their main delivery system
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/26/us-gave-iraq-intel-ignored-chemical-attacks_n_3817868.html
3. We gave the green light to the Sunni countries to sell U.S. arms and then replenished their stockpile, this was just an arms swap.
4. We allowed private companies in the U.S. to sell agricultural chemicals that were a suitable feedstock for chemical weapons production.
5. Should we count our naval attack on Iran's oil platform? We could claim that it was in our interest to keep the Persian Gulf open to countries like Kuwait but their oil platform was in their territorial waters and the Gulf states were assisting Iraq.

Overall, I think that it is fair to say that we are involved in more proxy Iranian deaths, by a factor of 10 or more than the other way around.

Chris Chuba

"Americans don't want continuous war, now for three generations. But the propaganda machine keeps running."
Just today, I read how Russia's air campaign has freed up Assad's barrel bombs to attack hospitals and bakeries around Damascus. Assad's barrel bombs are as good as our smart bombs, every time I read about them they always manage to hit their target, hospitals and bakeries, it's amazing. If I was bombing a city, I don't think I could find a bakery, let alone single them out with such precision. http://iswresearch.blogspot.com/2015/12/russian-strikes-in-syria-december-3-12.html They got this info from the London Observatory of Human Rights of course.

Why do people assume that Assad would waste munitions on civilian targets in the middle of an offensive. It's not like he has a plethora of helicopters and other air forces that he can waste on such targets. I would think that his tank crews would be extremely demoralized knowing that helicopters were doing that instead of trying to take out TOW anti-tank operators. Have MANPADS driven helicopters from the battlefield?


Doug Tunnell

Colonel,

Thanks as always for your insight. So even then we were trying to allay "the fears in the Gulf of an Iraqi defeat" to the extent that we'd support Saddam and his (as I recall ) 5th largest army in the world ! And today ( having topped Saddam ) we dance on with Unicorns, some jihadis ( kind of) and ziocons, hoping to insure that the Gulfies are still content...or at least unthreatened. Phew, what a performance.

bell

i agree.. thanks vv...

Kyle Pearson

Sanders is neither.

Kyle Pearson

I'm not sure how you take this clear statement by Sanders, which he made when quesitoned about the Syrian situation, as an indication that he would "support the Syrian rebel-jihadis in overthrowing Assad":

"Our government should do everything we can to resolve international conflict in a way that does not require war."

Or this:

"In a statement to the Washington Post Saturday, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders declared his support for the Obama administration’s current policy of bombing Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and opposed, for now, the more aggressive intervention proposed by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, his main rival for the Democratic presidential nomination."

The most that Sanders has said on rebels is that he, personally, "supports" them in their bid to overthrow the "Assad regime."

Yes, i don't like it, either, but Sanders is a dark-horse candidate running for office following an incumbent from his own party. He has to protect himself from attacks from the right-wing of his party that might paint him as being "soft" on anything, as well as refraining from making any comments that might cause trouble for any other party members who might endorse him.

VietnamVet

FB Ali,

Thanks. From you, this is high praise indeed.

confusedponderer

Chris Chuba,
"The primary argument for the 'Assad must go' crowd is that Assad is a recruiting tool for ISIS."

Spinmeisters at work ... that's the somewhat more palatable alternative to the nuttier claim that Assad and IS are in cahoots. It's BS either way.

ISIS is originally an Iraqi phenomenon that predates the Syrian civil war. Irrespective where their volunteers come from today, ISIS has very little to do with Assad himself, other than the fact that his Alawite sect happens to be 'an apostate regime' to rally jihadi nutters against. And then there's that apocalytic element in IS ideology about the battle before the end of days to be fought near Raqqa, soon.

ISIS is just an opportunistic infection on the body of Assad's Syria.

ISIS seized on the opportunity handed to them by the loons who wanted to regime change Syria, obsessing over 'breaking the Shia Crescend': ISIS expanded from Iraq into the spaces vacated by the Syrian government under the onslaught of the foreign funded rebellion since Assad had to protect the government heartland.

http://de.scribd.com/doc/292759804/Is-the-Caliphate-Revision-Nov-2015

It is not Assad who fed ISIS, it is the vacuum of power the regime change crowd generated that made ISIS a Syrian problem. ISIS is the unintended and unforseen consequence of the attempts to have regime change in Syria. Plain and simple.

Even without ISIS - thanks to the efforts of Turkey and the Gulfies - Syria would have an Islamist problem today in Al Qaeda (Muslim Brotherhood types, Al Qaeda derivates Jahbat al-Nusra or Ansar al-Sham).

Blaming Assad for ISIS appeal in light of their successes and well published excesses that made it all the rage in Jiahdi scene is deeply dishonest and cynical.

I.e. it was not Assad's excess but Assad's weakness that allowed ISIS into Syria in the first place.

ISIS rise is the exact result of the damage dealt to Assad's Syria by the foreign funded campaign aiming at regime change in Damascus. Understanding that fact, the rise of ISIS is a perfect example for why the idea of regime change is so nutty to begin with.

The idea behind this liberal rewriting of history is obviously to blame IS on Assad ('they are so evil because he is so evil'), implicityly conflating ('linking') the two, so that those who support fighting ISIS can, perhaps, be talked or pushed into supporting going after Assad, too.

It is a counter-attack to the emerging insight that ISIS is a far greater problem, and that Assad is actually something that we in the West can live with, since what drives Jihadi growth is the destruction of nation states with the accompanying lawlessness.

Those who take that view see Assad and his government as a stabilising force that it would be uinsise to destroy. They are thus uncreceptive to regime change. The regime change crowd tries to counter that by suggesting that in fact Assad is destabilising, is ne not making ISIS worse?

The proponents of regime change try to, in a nutshell, harness the outrage over ISIS to reditect it to Assad, to have their regime change after all.

With these folks, regime change always is the default oucome.

They're one trick pony's in that regard. I can't figure out for myself whether that it is just being unimaginatively doctrinaire, the result of an overemphasis on staying-on-message (doing it 'by the book') or of an active phantasy live that really 'lives the fiction'. To each of the players his own defect I presume.

They would make a parallel effort to suggest that a post-assad Syria would be a cool place to be (if you don't mind smoking, having a beer, sending your girls to school or paying that special tax), and totally stable with a democratic 'Islamist lite' government.

The conference in Ryad IMO was about that, and failed. Iirc the first point of contention was the idea that a future Syria should be democtratic wheras the various jihadi groups invited were unanimous that it would have to be a Sharia state.

That the internally displayed statistics document Sunnis going back to Assad territory flies in the face of the claims that Assadd is the worst, and making ISIS worse. It speaks for itself that they, even as Sunni, appear to rather want to put up with Assad and his flaws than with the Jihadis and their 'quirks'.

It underlines the accuracy FB Ali's observation about the sectarian character of the Jihad or Islamaist groups (all of them - ISIS, Muslim brotherhood, Al Qaeda derivates Jahbat al-Nusra or Ansar al-Sham) - they all reject democracy for Syria and they all want Syria to be a Sharia law state:

"It is not only the Christians, the Yazidis, the Alawis, the Shia, etc who would be 'inferior' members of the population in a Syrian Sharia state. Large numbers of Syrian Sunnis would also feel the same way.

This applies to all Muslim countries outside the Wahhabi belt in the ME; in that area they are compelled to become 'hypocrites', who act one way in public and another in private. Not least among them are many members of the ruling class in these states."

Excellently put. Here's your explanation as to why Assad has been enjoying suppoort for so long and why you have rebel groups 'going back to Bashar'.

BostonB

Blogger Steve Sailer has an interesting post on the announcement about the discovery of oil in the Golan Heights by Genie Oil and Gas Company. Sailer's got some good and funny commentary on this: http://www.unz.com/isteve/good-news-for-syrian-refugees/

On Genie Oil and Gas Company's Strategic Advisory Board you will some familiar names (as Sailer said, the list looks made up it is such a conspiracy theorist's fantasy, but it's the actual board-- you can see for yourself at the link).

From the Golan Heights Genie Oil and Gas Company website:

"The Strategic Advisory Board of Genie Oil and Gas advises management on strategic, financial, operational and public policy matters.

Michael Steinhardt (SAB Chairman)
Noted Wall Street investor and Principal Manager, Steinhardt Management LLC. Founder Steinhardt, Fine, Berkowitz & Co., and noted philanthropist.

Richard Cheney
46th Vice President of the United States. Vice President Cheney also served as President and CEO of Halliburton Company and U.S. Secretary of Defense from 1989 to 1993.

Marry [sic] Landrieu
United States Senator from Louisiana from 1996 to 2014. Senator Landrieu served as chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. In her capacity as chair, she sponsored and passed the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Bill. The bill fosters partnerships focused on developing resources such as natural gas and alternative fuels, on the academic, business and governmental levels.

Rupert Murdoch
Founder and Executive Chairman of News Corporation, one of the world’s largest diversified media companies. News Corporation’s holdings include Fox Entertainment, Dow Jones and Company, the New York Post, HarperCollins and significant media assets on six continents.

Bill Richardson
Governor of New Mexico from 2003 to 2011. Mr. Richardson has served asU.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (1997-1998), Energy Secretary in the Clinton administration (1998-2001), Chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, and as Chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

Jacob Rothschild, OM, GBE
Chairman of the J. Rothschild group of companies and of RIT Capital Partners plc. Chairman of Five Arrows Limited. Lord Rothschold is a noted philanthropist and Chairman of the Rothschild Foundation.

Dr. Lawrence Summers
Charles W. Eliot University Professor and President Emeritus at Harvard University. Dr. Summers served as the 71st Secretary of the Treasury under President Clinton and as Director of the National Economic Council for President Obama.

R. James Woolsey
Director of Central Intelligence from 1993 to 1995 and as Under Secretary of the Navy from 1977 to 1979. Mr. Woolsey is co-founder of the United States Energy Security Council and is Chairman of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies."

http://www.unz.com/isteve/good-news-for-syrian-refugees/

turcopolier

BobtonB

What's the point? Or is it just a funny stereotype about moneyed Jews organizing themselves to make money? What's the sub-script here, that the Israelis hung onto the Golan all these decades because the Almighty whispered to them as the Chosen that there was gold in "them thar hills?" pl

turcopolier

Chris Chuba

1-We did not give them intelligence to help in their chemical weapons delivery. Quite the opposite, we told them that if they used what target intelligence we gave to deliver chemical weapons the programs would end. 2-I was intimately familiar with the equipment inventory of the Iraqi forces. they had virtually no US manufactured equipment. Their stuff came from the WP, China and France. It is astonishing to me as someone closely involved on the US/GCC support of Iraq against Iran how much scholars have managed to distort the truth of what occurred. Are you Iranian? pl

confusedponderer

More economic determinism, IMO.

Or rather, the mistaken observation that, since someone is making money from it, monetary interests must have been a driver.

It's the same thing that has people still speak of Iraq's oil and Haliburton's no-bid contracts in the context of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.

They are mixing up cause (wrongheaded policy aiming on transforming the greater Middle East) and business opportunities arising from this folly (at US taxpayer expense) once the policy had been set (all the contracts for the military and for reconstruction).

It is easy to fall for that because of the interconnectedness of politics and business.

Zionism is an ideology that doesn't care for anything but the promnised loand.

I would find it very hard to imagine that Adelson or the average settler would crave the Golan for its water or oil and not for seeing it as part of ancient Jewish lands.

That there is water and apparently oil in the Golan, the skiing and the wine aside, is just a bonus. It shouldn't surprise that the Izzies are trying to make money of it one way or the other. So would US (or French, British, German, Russian or whatnot ...) businesspeople.

turcopolier

CP

The specters of the Iran-Iraq and Lebanese Civil wars have raised their ugly heads here. As someone pointed out the present civil war in Syria has its roots in the tortured sectarian and ethnic history of Lebanon and Syria over the last few hundred years. With regard to the other one, US intelligence liaison and advice to Iraq was only effective in last year or so of the war when Saudi and Kuwaiti pressure in Washington resulted in the job of advice to the Iraqi forces being transferred from CIA to DIA. Actually, the US would never have assisted Iraq at all if SA and Kuwait had not pressed continuously for it. These two Gulf countries became so fearful of a defeat of Iraq that would have brought Iran to their borders that they exerted enough pressure to obtain this change from CIA to DoD. This resulted in a great improvement in both Iraqi air performance and morale generally. The Iraqis expected and hoped to become a major surrogate of the US post war but in the event as soon as the Iranians accepted the terms of the UN sponsored armistice, all Saudi and Kuwaiti pressure on their behalf ended in Washington and all cooperation with the Iraqi military ended. IMO this cause a disillusionment on the part of Saddam and the Iraqi military that began the slide in regional relations that ended in the First Gulf War. pl

Babak Makkinejad

I think the Iran-Iraq War has had an effect that has been much worse than World War I in Europe; it severed Iran from the Sunni Arab world for certain and severely damaged her relations with the world of Sunni Islam.

It damaged Iranian psyche - or altered it - and made Iranians and their leaders what they are today. They were pushed too far, in my opinion.

The EU economic war against Iran, once again, pushed them too far as well - in my opinion; this time severing Iranians from Europe.

They will pragmatically work with anyone but will keep their distance.

Babak Makkinejad

They put an end to that vicious car bombing campaign in Beirut; tit for tat - one left home not knowing if one would come back alive.

LondonBob

Any truth to Victor Ostrovsky's allegations about Iraq (a summary is here http://mailstar.net/ostrovsky.html)? I seem to remember that it was alleged that the US ambassador had green-lighted Saddam's annexation of Kuwait and also that it was Maggie Thatcher that pushed a reluctant Bush senior to initiate the Gulf War.

steve

@BostonB

Has any candidate ever run for president without proclaiming himself as a "tough negotiator"? Even if it's more than an electoral slogan, I'm skeptical whether his style lends itself to effective diplomacy and negotation. Maybe, maybe not. But, if he thinks he can go into a summit meeting and work his will on politicians such as Putin by reading them whatever riot act he thinks appropriate, I think he is mistaken.

I think Trump will find too that being the chief executive of government is a far different animal than being the executive of a closely held corporation.

turcopolier

London Bob

April Glaspie, US Ambassador to Iraq at the time had instructions from DC to not commit the US to anything at all in the midst of the crisis as it became clear that Kuwait could yield or be invaded. the Administration in DC did not believe that because all the Borgist experts AND the Arab States swore that would never happen, that it was all a bluff. DIA (and I) asserted that the contrary was true but we were alone in that opinion and Bush chose to listen to others. Saddam sent for Glaspie and in the absence of instructions to the contrary she did not tell him what he should have been told which was that to invade Kuwait would mean war with the US. He took her silence to be assent. In re Thatcher, IMO it s certainly true that she badgered Bush 41 into a full scale military response. How, I don't know. The man was a genuine naval hero. maybe it was the call of the WASP instinct. pl pl

walter

PL, the Genie Oil project embodies the "revolving door" relationship between government and business which makes people very rich; government policy is skewed by the motivation of gov participants to make money when they get out of government. A research study should be done looking at this relationship...

If u r in government, align yourself with the rich/powerful because they will pay you for your service when u get out.

Legalized bribary.

Follow the money.

robt willmann

London Bob,

Regarding your point about Ambassador April Glaspie and Saddam Hussein before Iraq's invasion of Iraq, here is an article about it and a couple of alleged transcriptions of what was said at least at one meeting--

http://foreignpolicy.com/2011/01/09/wikileaks-april-glaspie-and-saddam-hussein/

http://whatreallyhappened.com/WRHARTICLES/ARTICLE5/april.html

http://www.globalresearch.ca/gulf-war-documents-meeting-between-saddam-hussein-and-ambassador-to-iraq-april-glaspie/31145

bell

gov'ts have been usurped by business people... corporations runs countries nowadays... how do you suppose we address it?

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