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30 August 2017


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Very little realpolitk has been applied to the region since the British and French left. The US is too unsophisticated for it and the locals are obsessed with personal and tribal ambition, religious sect and ultra-nationalism. pl


The deals done with Daesh and AQ were coordinated with Damascus (Nasrallah visit w/Assad) and the official Lebanese security services LAF and ISF plus the key political figures including President ret General Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Hariri.

The takfiri forces basically surrendered and negotiations were commmenced with the PoG's primary focus in gaining information on the fate of the missing LAF troops whose fate was an open sore festering within Lebanon. Nasrallah's calculus was that wiping out the enemy forces would eliminate any chances of retrieving intel on their recovery. Upon receipt of actionable intelligence, the information was relayed to the LAF to effect their return by that entity.

To kill the enemy in situ was an option but as HSN recently stated to the Iraqi complainers, the locale chosen was done so deliberately as HA forces were awaiting them there in order to finish the job.

AFAIK, HA has long negotiated surrenders beginning with the Israeli proxy SLA who were granted grace instead of retaliation for their traitorous actions through various operations within Syria. It appears to be a PoG military MO. Within the larger context of Lebanon, ever-shifting alliances and deals are the default.

Woe unto those outsiders who have imagined they could order an outcome tailor-made to their own foreign interests.


Here are two comments Gen. Flynn made in an interview with al-Jazeera that will help illustrate where I'm coming from on this issue:

FLYNN: "Before there was a decision to pull out of Iraq in 2011... I mean it was very clear what we were going to face. Very clear what we were going to face."

FLYNN: "I don't know if [the Obama administration] turned a blind-eye. I think it was a decision--a willful decision [....] to do what they're doing, which you have to ask the President what is it that he actually is doing."

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccdeANvo2bg

Gen. Flynn was cautious with some of his phrasing, but he nevertheless makes it apparent enough that the Obama admin understood the cost of removing Assad from power. That cost meant tolerating the clear and obvious emergence of a sort of neo-Islamic caliphate. And I think there were those, mostly allies in the region, but also those in the US with sympathies that extend beyond American interests, who preferred a Sunni one to a Shiite one. Those allies, in combating Iranian influence, had long fueled the Sunni fundamentalists. The end product was the emergence of Islamic State.

I don't know to what extent Obama and his team were cognizant of how dangerous and evil a threat IS would prove to be. He was rather dismissive of them. For example, he once referred to IS as if they were the equivalent of a junior varsity basketball team. Perhaps they imagined an IS that would have been more benign rather than one that served as a command base for global jihad. In any case, it does seem that they have underestimated IS in that sense and they also underestimated how quickly a force in the region IS would soon become. Even though they may not have anticipated all that, they nevertheless calculus was that the price of having something along the lines of IS emerging, even if only for a temporary period, was worth the price if it meant taking Assad down.

There was tacit support, not outright or overt in nature, but no less support in allowing them in the region in preference to Assad or Iranian-backed forces, at least before it became evident IS really was an evil force in the world that was less tolerable than Assad or the Iranians even.

The Obama administration and Senators like McCain may have meant well. Obama rode the political headwinds on an electorate that wanted to reverse course in Iraq, but he stayed committed to the Beltway cause of globalism, which meant more regime change. He didn’t want to commit American soldiers into unpopular wars, so the result meant backing Islamic diehards in lieu.

My conclusions are that the Obama administration tolerated IS, and in that sense supported them, until it blew up in their faces. That isn't to say the US is a big bad wolf in the world or that Obama is a secret Muslim who hates America, but there are unpleasant realities to some of the costs that come with these interventions and this was one of those ugly realities of American foreign intervention.


Hamilcar -

If I recall correctly the US returned to Iraq in mid June 2014 at the request of then PM Maliki. That was after Mosul fell. But Daesh had six months prior to that taken most of Anbar. He was in a major bind with his own parliament, and from his own DAWA party, and also from clerics like Sistani. He had earlier in the year requested help from Iran, they sent the IRGC but could not stop Daesh any better than the Iraqi Army. So Maliki did not have too many other choices.


It hasn't turned tail, it's still turning a very blind eye to the activities of its proxies according to Sputnik News:
US-Backed Rebels Sell Guns to Daesh - Former Security Head of Base in Syria
The base he's talking about is the one at Al-tanf, the one that the Syrians wanted to capture but which the Americans so nobly defended. Now we know why because the weapons they were delivering to the base were being forwarded to ISIS.
"Hidden support was provided by selling weapons to the Daesh. When we found out about this, we told the Americans about it. However they started to support the commander they placed above us [Mugannat Attalia, the leader of Mahavir as-Saura group] even more. [Militants] sold US-made weapons, vehicles, antitank grenade launchers, M-16 rifles, a large number of them. After the United States carried out the latest revision, they found that 4,700 rifles were missing," Muhammad Assalam said.
The United States might not have created ISIS but it has certainly used it and that it's still delivering weapons that end up with ISIS at the same time it's whining about the Lebanese/Hezbollah/Syrians transferring ISIS to Deir Ez-zor is an act of gross hypocrisy.
BTW, Sputnik may be making this up, something American mainstream media does all too often, but it makes sense. If the Al-tanf base had been shut down, it would have been far harder and far more visible for the United States to deliver weapons via its proxies to ISIS. If this is not the case, then since there appears to be no other reason for the Al-Tanf base being there, the United States should evacuate it immediately and shut it down for good.

Babak Makkinejad

This transparent attempt at pushing US buttons might amuse you:


Babak Makkinejad

I agree largely.

I would add that the US policy was to wound Iran through Syria.

IS made the name of Islam mud.


Mike, wishful history ( one' own history) is not any better than fake news, Daesh didn't and couldn't and wouldn't stop if it wasn't for Ayatollah Sistani's Fatwa to mobilize the Iraqis, and his support for the Iraqi government, just on first day some 100000 volunteered to go to front. Every Iraqi or non-Iraqi, politician or not knows this, except the Americans. Iraqi American trained forces had gave up and collapsed. FYI, historically, in Shia majority countries clerics have the last word, because, they have the support of the majority whom are willing to give up life for his word.


The office of the Iraqi Prime Minister has denied that they were aware of the deal struck between Lebanese Hezbollah militias, Syrian Army and ISIS militants that aimed to secure the transfer of hundreds of ISIS fighters from the Syrian-Lebanese border to the Iraqi-Syrian border over the weekend.

The statement that was released Friday morning read that it was in response to “false news” carried by an Iranian news agency and a Lebanese TV channel that suggested Iraq had prior knowledge of the deal.

“We affirm that Iraq did not have knowledge regarding this deal, that we were not informed about it, that the Iraqi government was not consulted about it, and it happened entirely out of our sight,”.





Once you transfer arms and ammunition to any foreign force you lose any ability to control what use is made of them. You cannot order an inventory. All you have demonstrated with your argument is that the Obama administration's policy of allowing the arming the FSA was as foolish as his personal policy of not bombing IS crude oil exports. Fortunately Trump has at long last ended the policy of supporting the FSA. I suppose that you will not accept that answer because like a lot of conspiracy theorists you probably think that all American administrations follow the same policy which is dictated by a civil service conspiracy, tje MIC and the Zioinists. If you think that you are wrong. pl

Babak Makkinejad

And Sistani is an Iranian citizen.


Kooshi -

I have a great deal of respect for Sistani. His Fatwa of June 2014 certainly saved Baghdad, Najaf and Karbala from the Daeshis.

Seems to me he that ten years ago or so Sistani was the only moderate voice speaking out against neighbor-on-neighbor sectarian revenge killings and kidnappings in Iraq. He was hated by the Saudis and Gulf States, but also by some Shia. It was a Shia sect that tried to assassinate him, also ten years ago.

Sistani was an early promoter of democracy, urging the vote. He even encouraged women to get out and vote in violation of their husbands' wishes.

Sistani should have gotten the Nobel. May he live forever is my wish.

But still, it was Sistani's (and others) pressure on Maliki that brought the Coalition into Iraq which has led to the liberation of millions of Iraqis from the tyranny of a takfiri caliphate. Maliki and the Hashd could never have accomplished that even in their wildest dreams.


Ayatollah Sistani ( as well as all other grand ayatollahs) has an office and a representative in city of Qum ( as well as all other major hozehs) his rep.' name is ayatollah Sharestani (Sistani' son in law) I don't think he only is there to discuss and review Fegh (theology). I believe many other issues and relations are coordinated through this offices including security, specially security issues that relates to Sunni Shia relations like the recent deal in Lebanon. I believe important grand ayatollahs in Iran and Iraq were pre informed and approved.

Now, for the Iraqi PMs like Maliki, Ebadi or any other, if not approved by Sistani (and Hozehs) my guess is that they can last in office for almost five minute. IMO Ebadi' disapproval is for American consumption


Yes, Sistani, Maliki, and everybody in between knew US is looking for a reason and ways to come back and have a military presence in Iraq, so the decision ( in Shia clergy) was is better to have them come in invited, and in some way under Iraqi control rather than they illegally invade like they did in Syria claiming (their international right) for fighting terrorism. That's the truth and IMO was a correct decision confronting a bully state, that is, since this way might be easier to ask them leave when time comes.


IMO from what I have told, these people they don't see themselves as Iranian or Iraqi or else for security reasons they see need for larger unification of thier minority sect,


Kooshy -

I believe Sistani is a lot smarter and a lot less opinionated than you make him out to be.


With regard to greater intersect unity a good example is Iran itself, when ayatollah Khomeini took power Iran was a weak / powerless protected state internationally and regionally, the reigional and internatiinal power Iran possesses today, a lot has to do with her across the region Shia alliances around greater middle east, which ayatollah Khomeini was aware of and had reqougnized and took position of it. That power today expands the entire Western Asia today, but IMO, is not concentrated in one person or one country it includes the entire Shia communities as they attend Friday prayers in Najaf, Karbala, And across the regio.


Iraqi intelligence officials say they are monitoring a convoy of ISIS militants moving through Syria towards the Al Bukamal border crossing and Baghdad believes there are more militants than initial estimates.

A special operation center has been set up to monitor the movement of these ISIS militants transferred to Al Bukamal, Abu Ali Basri, the general manager of intelligence and counter-terrorism within Iraq’s Interior Ministry, has told Iraqi Al Sabah newspaper.

Basri added in the statement that presence of these militants is dangerous and the number of the transferred militants was larger than what was initially reported — without specifying or estimating the number.


In other news the anti-Daesh coalition is looking for a solution in order to end the “suffering” of women and children in the ISIS convoy stuck in the Syrian desert.

A coalition statement said they had delivered a message to Damascus, via the regime’s ally Russia, suggesting a “course of action to save the women and children from any further suffering". But that they will not allow the fighters to move closer to the Iraqi border.


Red Cloud

The US has no business trying to strike anything on the M20 at all. The R+6 is obviously going to reach Deir Ezzor just fine without any "assistance". It wouldn't take a conspiracy theorist to know that any hypothetical strike that took out a bridge could be nothing other than an attempt to stall the SAA. There would be no other logical explanation at this point.


Red Cloud

I might be impressed if I did not know that the US military is without guidance from above as to what to do about the convoy and is confused. pl


I am not stumping for anyone to cut the M20. But if the coalition did, so? It would not in any way slow down the SAA move towards DeZ. They have tracked vehicles, 4X4s, plus 6X6 and 8X8 trucks and they manage to get around roadless very well throughout the Badia steppe. The only thing unable to get thru would be those tour busses. What the Syrian regime would get if that road is cut would be another propaganda coup.

In a more perfect world Assad would give those Daeshis an extended acquaintance with the walls of Sednaya prison. And perhaps send the women and children to Riyadh to taste Saudi hospitality.

Babak Makkinejad

You have to ask them how they see themselves. The small group of men around Ayatullah Khomeini, together with him, considered themselves Muslims first, Shia second, and only distantly and accidentally Iranians.

Babak Makkinejad

War was brought to Shia communities by idiots; Arab Nationalist and Sunni Arab Traditionalists in 1980, by Isrealis in 1982, by Sunni Pakistani since 1980, and most recently in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan. It is just like Kindergarten: "They started it first." Which caused the rise of the Party of Ali.

Christian Chuba

Good God Babak, that's the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back. I have to take a sabbatical from FOX News. Not that this is the most idiotic story that FOX has posted, but I have had enough of their nonsense. Can they really be that stupid, this is pure Neocon porn, all of their favorite villains are packed into one paragraph.

If they just thought about it for a few seconds they would at least be suspicious about it. 1. Iran mines their own uranium, 2. given the limits of the JCPOA, Iran doesn't need that much uranium, 3. the risk of getting caught smuggling uranium from Africa (let alone Al Qaeda) would be catastrophic for them.

FOX is currently on a tear creating all of these imaginary links between Iran and N. Korea, you would think that Iran detonated the two stage thermonuclear weapon. To the best of my knowledge, the last contact Iran had w/N. Korea was the purchase of an intermediate ballistic missile, about 10yrs ago, that they reverse engineered into the Sahab-3. This is hardly the diabolical partnership that they depict.

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