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31 October 2017


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10- Blame it on Assad’ resistance, if he had did not resist and folded early on, our supported and supplied moderate extremist Sunni terrorist wouldn’t have been so agitated to drive on. our citizens. Mean time don’t forget to sanction Iran some more, and renew the leading terrorist nation in the world designation.
11- Call Shia Hizbollah a terrorist organization, regardless they are fighting the same agitated extremist Sunni terrorist who are driving on our innocent misinformed constituents.

The Twisted Genius


Don't know the exact units, but they include IRGC, Hezbollah units. I think there are also several militia units involved including one composed of Iraqi Shia. T2 was the last obstacle before al Bukamal. This is from a comment on another blog concerning the situation in Syria. I think this Iraqi-Syrian coordination will be a nightmare for the jihadis and everyone else outside of the R+6.

"The coordination toward al Qaim and al Bukamal between SAA/allies and ISF/PMU is complete and with C&C center hosting Iran and Hizballah. The groups are in constant talks and there is a rule of engagement that allows both ISF an SAA to enter Syria and Iraq as much as 10 kms without any authorization. Right now the coordination is working very well in Anbar border with Deir ez Zour Province"


I am so weary of hearing about "Obama's incompetent withdrawal from Iraq as leading to Iranian influence in the theater".
The deal to leave Iraq was made by BUSH, not Obama.
Iraq refused to continue to grant extraterritoriality (immunity) to USA military occupation, so BUSH agreed with Iraq government that all USA forces would leave, the date for departure falling on Obama's subsequent watch.
As for Iran's influence in Iraq, that is a direct consequence of Bush war/occupation of Iraq. Both Iraq and Iran are vast majority shia, they have been close for many years, and many of Iraq's shia leaders fled Saddam and moved to Iran. And then BUSH declared Iran was a charter member of the "axis of evil" and neocons bragged that "real men go to Iran". So Bush pushed Iraq into shia rule (thanks to Sistani resistance of proposed phony elections, forcing real elections that elected shia leaders instead of USA cronies. And Bush made it clear that Iran's best hope of avoiding destruction by USA was to unite with Iraq in resistance to USA occupation.
It is folly to blame Obama for any of this, it all happened before his election.


Great. I have the next two weeks on a greek island. But they want to start WWIII.


I don't contest everything you've said, but there are some details you overlook regarding Iraqi elections held under Obama. Allow me to quote from this source:


To wit:

When U.S. President Barack Obama took office, in 2009, both the Americans and the Iraqis believed that the sectarian civil war was over and that the country was finally on the right track. But rather than capitalizing on these successes to cajole Iraqi politicians toward compromise, the Obama administration disengaged. The 2010 Iraqi election marked an inflection point. When Iraqiya, the nationalist, nonsectarian political party led by Ayad Allawi, narrowly defeated the Dawa Party, led by Nouri al-Maliki, the incumbent prime minister, the Obama administration failed to uphold the right of the winning bloc to have the first go at forming a government. Instead, it signaled its desire to keep Maliki in power, despite the stipulations of the Iraqi constitution and the objections of Iraqi politicians.

The Obama administration insisted that Maliki was an Iraqi nationalist and a friend of the United States. But in reality, the decision to keep him in place played into the hands of Iran. Tehran pressured the anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, one of Maliki’s most outspoken foes, to align his powerful political bloc with Maliki’s coalition, a move that was instrumental in securing another term for the prime minister. In exchange for Iran’s help in forging the alliance with Sadr, Maliki agreed to ensure the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq by 2011, when the status-of-forces agreement between the two countries was set to expire.

Instead of marking the peaceful transition of power in a new democratic system, the 2010 election undermined confidence that change could come about through politics. Secure in his seat for a second term, Maliki reneged on his promises to the Sunni Awakening. He labeled Sunni politicians as “terrorists,” driving them out of the political process, and he ordered the security forces to violently crush Sunni dissent. In so doing, Maliki created conditions that allowed a new group to rise up out of the ashes of al Qaeda in Iraq. ISIS, as it came to be known, proclaimed itself the defender of Sunnis against Maliki’s regime. Feeling betrayed and discriminated against by the government, many Sunnis determined that ISIS was the lesser of two evils.

Is the above account in error ?



In one word; Hezbollah.

Opening a ground supply line from Iran through Iraq to Lebanon would be a victory for the Shiite militias. Splitting the Sunnis and isolating the Kurds. But, most importantly, it would be an existential defeat for the Likud government. Tribal warfare to divide and kill its enemies foiled; Israel would be neutered by the threat of an attack of a multitude of Hezbollah missiles from Lebanon to the Jordon Border or by a Russian brokered peace treaty that would keep militia missiles out of Syria. I fear that Israel-Firsters/Neo-Cons in the West would rather start WWIII than accept this stalemate.



The Israeli Air force would tear such a route to pieces. What Sunnis and Kurds are you talking about. Hamas and Hizbullah leaders are meeting in Beirut today. pl

Babak Makkinejad

There is a major error of understanding in this:

We read:

"Maliki was an Iraqi nationalist and a friend of the United States. But in reality, the decision to keep him in place played into the hands of Iran...."

So, any Iraqi who desires good relations with Iran is a turncoat and an enemy of the United States?

Any why would Iraqis welcome foreign troops in their country - is there any country in the world which welcomes occupation by foreigners?

And that Iraqis Shias heeded the call of Ayatollah Sistani - an Iranian - to defend Iraq is not a meaningful act of patriotism by Iraqis but that of an ignorant mob, belonging to a retrograde religion and social force?

As long as this type of propaganda masquerades as analysis there will be no hope of positive change in the Western Alliance.


Tourist in Aleppo!


I am hoping they go for the deep dip and take thier supporters with them


Iran’ influence over (Shia) Iraq doesn’t come from US “leaving” Iraq, For centuries Iran had and has influence over majority Iraqi which are Shia Muslims. To be correct Iran’ influence in Iraq was able to surface and be seen once US invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam. IMO, Iran alone would not have even attempted to topple Saddam fearing Sunni states backlash and endangering the political economy of Shia Iraqis.

Account Deleted

"Israel Reportedly Strikes Syria; Assad Regime Responds With Anti-aircraft Missiles"


Seems to be at Hissia, Homs.


My post was about the first elections held in Iraq under USA occupation, that was in 2005. The phony elections proposed by Bush/Cheney gang were changed because Sistani got involved and forced genuine democratic elections.
I said nothing about Iraq elections under Obama, and I refuse to be drawn into your diversion.
The basic problem in Iraq today is that Bush/Cheney lied and bombed and occupied. Humpty dumpty has not been put back together again, no surprise to me.
You can read all about the 2005 elections here:



Is there a date? pl


The answer to my question about logistics to the SDF becomes obvious. They get supplied in the future as they do now. By air to Qamishli Airport or other airports in Northeast Syria. Or to Incirlik and driven into Syria. Or from Europe to Erbil and then driven to Syria. The Turks and Iraqis look the other way and will continue to do so. But how do they get their oil out? ISIS was able to truck their oil to Turkey until Putin started blowing up the trucks. Would the SAA do the same? Would Edrdogan play footsie with his sworn enemies- the YPG? Stranger things have happened.

Account Deleted

There was once a Man who knew exactly how many troops a democracy should deploy in order to counter the threat from 'Iranian-backed militia'. I think he'd be surprised to learn that the subject is still under discussion after two and a half millennia.



I believe this account is correct - but note the mind boggling spin that Foreign Affairs puts on it.

First of all, Tehran didn't pressure al-Sadr to do what he did ... al-Sadr went to Nasrallah for advice and Nasrallah advised him to do it. Remember the time that the US military set up a meeting with al-Sadr then dropped a bomb on the building at meeting time? Neither does Foreign Affairs.

Then there is this gem of hypno-propaganda:
"Instead of marking the peaceful transition of power in a new democratic system, the 2010 election undermined confidence that change could come about through politics. "

What??? First of all - those two things are not opposites of one another. Second of all, it was a peaceful transition of power in a democratic system ... because it was what the Iraqi people wanted. Sadr was elected precisely because of his anti-American stance. Maintaining ambiguity about whose confidence was undermined is a nice little propaganda trick. Finally, change did come through politics - just not the change that the neocons wanted.

Based on the Arabs I have talked to I'm sure the Iraqis are not so much anti-American as anti-neocon. As far as Foreign Affairs is concerned, you are not a real democracy unless you are a tool of the neocons.

different clue


If Turkey left NATO, then the EUro-NATO countries could declare NATO to be abolished so far as they were concerned. They could then form their very own NEATO ( stands for North East Atlantic Treaty Organization), maybe without Canada and certainly without America. That would be the very best outcome of all, from the standpoint of some Americans.

different clue

Babak Makkinejad,

Would they be Wahhabi transplants or trainees? Or would they be India-Pakistan's very own Deobandis?

Ishmael Zechariah

re: "Would Edrdogan play footsie with his sworn enemies- the YPG?"

Here a short synopsis which might answer your rhetorical question:
You might remember that tayyip was the architect of the "kurdish opening" a few years ago; see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_initiative . At that point things in Syria were going well, tayyip was strongly in favor of, and very much supported by the tribe and Fortress West; He was given to think that he would be the anointed sultan of the ME governing through local feudal lords. Did not work out that way. When he lost the majority after this democratic gambit ( http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/turkey-elections-president-recep-erdogans-party-keeps-control-but-loses-seats-in-turkish-vote-10303729.html ) he blasted the kurdish strongholds to ground-these operations were neither polite, nor humane but quite effective; we Turks still remember how to neutralize folks if they deserve it. Thus he regained his majority-and got the gulenist coup in response since he had acted out of script. tayyip blamed the coup on USA; most of us agree that it was CIA led. It failed since the secular nationalists in TSK politely declined to participate. We consider the fethullahis more craven, insidious and dangerous than the clowns represented by tayyip. At this point tayyip started flirting with the Russians. However, the elimination of oil thievery from Iraq and Syria, and the loss of support from the gulf states, coupled by adverse economic actions by the West, has caused serious grief for the Turkey. The gold leaf coating the economic shit is thinning out the point even islamists and useful idiots can smell it. His party is not in good shape internally, and the "media" is not able to hide the economic distress. At this point tayyip would make a deal w/ anyone and cut any deal to save his spawn from perdition. Hope he does not succeed.
Ishmael Zechariah


A slip or intentional?

A top U.S. general just said 4,000 American troops are in Syria. The Pentagon says there are only 500.



October this year, apparently. The author also filed this travelogue of his stay in Dimashq at the same site:


Going by his comments there, it seems he comes from Norway.


Tulsi Gabbard has been to Syria once maybe twice. She met with Assad and many Syrian people. She has a pretty good picture of what is happening there. Better than most if not all in the pathetic U.S. congress. Her intentions are honest and true.


the arabs of southern iraq converted in mass along tribal lines in the early 1800s


it was part of tribal politics where several tribes converted in mass between the 17 and 1800s

with that said, every time iran was in control of the area where the tigris and euphrates comes together it has been a powerful empire, and every time it has not, it has been a weak and fragmented.

ex-PFC Chuck

Agreed. That key decision was made on Bush's watch. Obama did enough damage to the true interests of the people of the USA. He doesn't need to take the blame for Bush's carnage as well.

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