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30 March 2016


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"All we have to do is let the Americans bail us out again. And we can go about business as usual.’ ”"

Sounds just like the mayors of too many American cities or the Governor of an American state.

Babak Makkinejad

I like your intellectual exercise; "... if ISIS suddenly vanished tomorrow..."

So let us consider the hypothesis of suddenly I3 disappear: India, Iran, and Israel.

Would then Pakistan become a beacon of enlightenment and progress and the war in Afghanistan end?

Would Jordan and Egypt and Syria welcome a new dawn of civilization?

Would Turkey be anything other than a creole civilization like Tunisia?

And would the Gulfies feel any more secure when indulging in their debauchery?

Likewise for the NATO states:

If the Russian Federation and Iran disappear tomorrow, would there be a complete restoration of the Rule of Law and Representative Government in Ukraine, or in Romania?

Would Kosovo suddenly become another San Marino?

Would the flow of immigrant from Africa and the Near East suddenly stop?

Would Nigeria and Zaire become paragons of cultural progress and would life expectancy in Zaire suddenly jump by 20 years?

Babak Makkinejad

Iraqi government is unlike Vichy - you can look at the history of its creation and establishment.

The Beaver

@ Patrick,

That's what I was thinking also when I read that this morning .

BTW: PM Abadi has proposed 16 names for his cabinet, reshuffling all actual Ministers with the exception of the Defense and Interior ministers.


I'm trying to imagine how the indenture would be worded.

X amount of kwikrelease™ uniforms new & waterprufed™ for Iraqi Army use of.
X amount of noleak™ diapers desert camouflage printed for Iraqi Army use of.
X amount of soothemsoothers™ desert camouflage printed for Iraqi Army use of.

The fact that all these are trademarked will of course mean a hefty markup thereby impoverishing the US taxpayer further but enriching the US parasite class further which is a not unimportant policy goal.

Getting rid of Saddam's army was one of the worst things that Bremer did.


But the aggressive psychological warfare on the borders of Russian federation seems to reflect on a unified command:
The small Baltic states have been used of course as patsies, yet are the DC deciders aware that the character of modern weaponry makes them and their country endangered because of the provocations against Russian federation? The problem is not a responsible decision to use nuclear weaponry again aggression but the unavoidable glitches that could lead accidentally to a full-blown nuclear conflict. The stupidity of willful creating the climate of mistrust among nuclear powers should be equated with a crime.


"There's something off in that south front story or http:://militarymaps.info, according to the latter source, al Salamiyah as been in the SAA's hands for quite a while."

Probably simply a case of faulty write-up. As I mentioned, the video is indeed a lot clearer than the spoken/written text.
It also needs to be kept in mind that al-Salamiyah also lends its name to the district to which the town, itself the discrict's capital, lends its name. Wiki got a map of said district's outlines:


Comparing that to the lines of engagement between ISIL and SAA as drawn by edmaps, among others, shows that a good chunk of the eastern territory of that district in particular is occupied by ISIL. The advances SAA made against the Ar-Rastan pocket that the Southfront-vid highlights probably are meant to discourage the unicorns in said pocket from trying to do anything funny while SAA are engaged with ISIL to the east. Similar pattern to the reported SAA and Hizbollah advance earlier this year on the Syrian-Lebanese border to the west of Qaryatayn where ISIL is roaming about, to preempt any potential advances made by that crew while their brothers in Qaryatayn are pincered.

Seamus Padraig

"The Kurds talk tough, but have never performed when facing a real force. They are patsies and may suffer if their puppeteers abandon them yet once again."

The YPG Kurds did quite well at Kobane (Ain-al-Arab).

Linda Lau

From my admittedly anecdotal experience, the Iraqi military was just too broken in so many ways that it cannot be expected to go into combat with skill and intensity. I believe it is not a matter of being cowardly but they have to feel that their efforts mean something for themselves and their families.


Linda Lau

Cannot agree. A coward is a coward. They were not drafted. we have spent a great deal of time and money re-training them and for little result. pl

Chris Chuba

You are spot on Patrick. When Palmyra was obviously on the verge of being liberated by R+6 all I heard about on cable TV was our magnificent killing of the #2 man. That was covered for like 5 days.

I keep thinking that Syria will be the thing that shames our foreign policy establishment. If it happens, it will be quick and 'unexpected' just like the Russian campaign in Syria that was hidden in plain site. The SAA will take control of the Iraq border, Deir Ezzor, and Raqqa. The Pentagon will float one of their silly headlines. The MSM will dutifully repeat it over and over again but people will finally notice how absurd it is and laugh at it. They might even remember some of the other silly things that were said or the dozen or so predictions that all turned out wrong. Well at least I can dream for this to happen or Hillary will get elected and ruin another country .... uhh my dream just turned into a nightmare.


Completely different "Kurds".


Another possibility that fits the facts is that Lavrov and Kerry agreed to a sequence of events and a time schedule of actiins against IS.

Patrick Bahzad

I'm sure they agreed on something, but they not in ctrl of the PR spin-machine on either side.


In reply to Linda Lau 31 March 2016 at 06:56 PM

If the Sadrists can do it how come the army drawn from exactly the same pool can't? Except that's not really the correct question is it? The correct question is:

If the Sadrists can do it how come the army drawn from exactly the same pool won't?


I suspect the Russians required a public disclosure by the US and its Iraqi allies regarding the Mosul campaign as a precondition to occur before the 3/31/16 deadline for the Russians in Syria. And I think earlier this week a timeline for a negotiated solution in Syria was targeted for August FWIW.


"Remember that Obama himself said he did not do anything against ISIS in Iraq because he wanted to regime change Maliki first (Friedman interview Sep 2014)."

bernard, on a rather superficial glance, admittedly, your recent articles have improved. I like this one: "Clinton's Plan To "Defeat ISIS" Is A Threat". I vaguely come from the same place.

But are you sure Obama's activities or missing activities in Iraq and/or Syria can be reduced to intended "regime change"?

Wasn't Operation the "regime change" to start with?

Friedman interview Sep 2014
19:30 "And what I've been saying to every faction within Iraq, we will be your partners, but we will not be doing it for you. We are not sending a bunch of US troops back on the ground and keep the lid on things.You are gonna have to show us that you are willing and ready, to maintain a unified Iraqi government that is based on compromise. That you are willing to build a government and a non sectarian security force that is answerable to a civilian government. You do that and then, you've got a strong partner in us.



"he wanted to regime change Maliki first" I do not know who you are quoting but that is not what Obama said. He said that he wanted to modify Maliki's behavior, not replace him. pl


To what extent have the Western volunteers stiffened the Kurds? I know a few guys who went over there from various military disciplines (Infantry, Medical, Comms, Logistics), and I hear there are many, many more Westerners than you could believe working with/for the Kurds.

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