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Is You Is, Or Is You Ain’t?

June 12th, 2014 - 5:37 pm

To understand the advance of ISIS in Iraq it may be necessary to go back to Benghazi, because Iraq is connected to Syria and Syria may be connected to events in Libya. As  Simon Henderson of Foreign Policy says, “the ISIS invasion of Iraq is really a war between Shiites and Sunnis for control of the Middle East.” The men advancing on Baghdad are connected to the Syria rebels we’ve heard so much about.  That’s why the rebels are called ISIS or ISIL, The “S” is for Syria or “L”evant. Henderson writes:

Be careful what you wish for” could have been, and perhaps should have been, Washington’s advice to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states that have been supporting Sunni jihadists against Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Damascus. The warning is even more appropriate today as the bloodthirsty fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) sweep through northwest Iraq, prompting hundreds of thousands of their Sunni coreligionists to flee and creating panic in Iraq’s Shiite heartland around Baghdad, whose population senses, correctly, that it will be shown no mercy if the ISIS motorcades are not stopped. Such a setback for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been the dream of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah for years.

He has regarded Maliki as little more than an Iranian stooge, refusing to send an ambassador to Baghdad and instead encouraging his fellow rulers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman — to take a similar standoff-ish approach. Although vulnerable to al Qaeda-types at home, these countries (particularly Kuwait and Qatar) have often turned a blind eye to their citizens funding radical groups like Jabhat al-Nusra, one of the most active Islamist groups opposed to Assad in Syria.

You will recall that Obama has been offered ground level entry in this Syria enterprise for a long time. But if Pakistan is the godfather of the Taliban, then Saudi Arabia is in a similar position regarding the various incarnations of al-Qaeda, perhaps in Syria as well.  It exports the revolution in order not to be consumed by it, unleashing a Frankenstein monster on the world in the hopes of distracting it so it will not turn on its creator. Right now this monster is rampaging through Iraq.

In their path is a cornucopia of oil.

The Washington Post reports that the biggest success of of Iraq was the revival of its oil industry. “In February, Iraq’s production surged to an average of 3.6 million barrels a day – the highest level since 1979, the year Saddam Hussein took power. Since Iraq has the world’s fifth largest proven oil reserves, it has the potential to expand output much further.” Now all of that lies in the middle of a war zone.

The swift collapse of the Iraqi army in Mosul and other northern towns and the advance of extremist militants toward Baghdad has shaken the country’s stability just as Iraq, now the second largest producer in the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, was starting to bring stability to oil markets. Oil prices were virtually unchanged on Wednesday, but on Thursday they climbed. The price of Brent crude oil, the international benchmark grade, for delivery in July rose to $112.61 a barrel, up 2.4 percent, on the London-based commodity exchange. Oil prices are already at their highest level this year, though they were slightly higher at a couple of points last year, partly in response to supply disruptions in Libya. This is the fourth consecutive year in which crude oil prices have bounced along all-time highs. (In 2011 and 2012, Brent hit peaks of about $125.)

It is almost blasphemous to think the “Holy Joes” of Sunni Islam are doing it for the money, even though that’s what it looks like. Thank Allah that only the perfidious west goes to war for oil.

Also in the way of the clacking knives of the Jihad are 20,000 American civilians and contractors, according to Foreign Policy.  These guys are prime targets for beheading, whippings and shark cages.

Maliki in his desperation has turned to Iran, which has reportedly supplied two battalions of Revolutionary Guards to help stiffen Baghdad’s collapsing forces. Meanwhile Washington, which earlier half-heartedly rejected a request to provide airstrikes, is reconsidering the proposal. Russia’s RT has suggested, not implausibly, that Maliki’s salvation may lie in a combination of Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops supported by US airpower.

Two battalions of the Quds Forces, which is the overseas branch of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, moved to Iraq on Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal reported. There they worked jointly with Iraqi troops to retake control of 85 percent of Tikrit, security forces from both countries told the Journal. Iranian forces are also helping guard the Iraqi capital of Bagdhad, as well as two Shiite holy cities that the Sunni jihadists are threatening.

Meanwhile, on Thursday morning, US President Barack Obama declared that he doesn’t rule out any options with regards to the ISIS takeover of cities in the northern region of Iraq. The administration and its national security team are discussing military options. “We do have a stake in ensuring these jihadists don’t get foothold in either Iraq or Syria,” Obama said. Later in the day, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney clarified that US will not send ground troops to Iraq, but is seriously considering airstrikes that would help to drive jihadist militants out of their strongholds.

Can you just hear it now? “OK infidel, what does your Satan F-16 have for me?”

“This is Buick Flight. I have two aircraft each with 4 two thousand pound JDAMs and a full load of 20 mike mike.”

“On my smoke, infidel. North to south.”

This scenario would border on the absurd. But as Roger Simon has pointed out, Barack Obama’s foreign policy is already straight out of bizarro theater. What’s a little more strangeness?

As I pointed out in The Day Obama’s Presidency Died, everything becomes clear if you are willing to consider the absurd. The Benghazi scandal is only comprehensible is you open yourself to the possibility that that the Obama administration was “buying in” on al-Qaeda and somehow got double-crossed in the process. Suppose:

Benghazi had its roots in an alternative theory of foreign policy formed in Obama’s team at around the time of the Surge in Iraq. From that experience, Obama’s advisers persuaded him that it would be possible to “turn” America’s enemies by taking control of them instead of fighting them. It was a dazzling prospect which offered victory on the cheap.

It was to be built on three pillars: covert action, targeted assassinations and diplomacy.  The idea was simple, instead of relying on the regular military, the Obama administration would take over the most dangerous jihadi groups through intelligence agencies. Through this mechanism they would become their patrons and cement the relationship with diplomatic deals with their Gulf funders.  Drones and hunter killer squads would be employed to promote chosen intelligence assets — American agents — to positions of responsbility in the terror cells. The drones would clear the way for designated jihadis to rise within the ranks.  Eventually America would own the jihad and neuter it from within.

America would out ISI the ISI.

But of course there had to be a genuine political component as well. A bone needed to be thrown to genuine Muslim aspirations.  Why not give the Muslim Brotherhood Egypt and hand over Syria to al-Qaeda? And why not use American diplomatic muscle to force a deal between Palestine and Israel.  That way al-Qaeda could have their own countries and presumably be satisfied with that.

This scheme has a certain superficial attractiveness. It sounds wildly daring, incredibly smart and its formulators must have felt like Cortez on a Peak in Darien. “Boy are we cool to have thought of this.”

There is only one problem with this scenario. It could never be sold to a public who had given their sons to fighting the Jihad in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It could never be peddled to crusty old guys who’d see it as a crazy-ass scheme. The solution to meeting the objections was simple. Don’t tell anyone and conduct a secret foreign and counter-terrorist policy, which when it succeeded could be unveiled as proof of Obama’s genius.

What makes Benghazi such dynamite is the outre chance that ISIS was somehow armed and supported in the first place by the Obama administration or its allies in a cockamamie scheme to advance the Arab Spring.  In which case the ISIS offensive in Iraq is a supersized version of the Benghazi consulate treachery. The Revenge of Frankenstein. Now before you say “that’s incredible!” think of Iranian Revolutionary Guards operating under US air cover.  Now that’s incredible.

Something is not quite right in the state of Denmark. John McCain has just taken to the Senate Floor to demand president Obama fire his entire national security staff.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) took to the floor of his chamber Thursday morning and called upon President Barack Obama to replace his entire national security staff in the wake of Islamic militant victories in several large Iraqi cities. “I say to the President of the United States, get a new national security team in place,” McCain said. “You have been ill-served by the national security team you have in place now, and the decisions you have made. Have that new national security team come up with a strategy to do whatever we can to prevent this direct threat to the national security of this nation.”

It is even worse than McCain implies. If ISIS is a Saudi proxy army advancing on Baghdad which can only be opposed by the legions of the Ayatollahs under American air strength, then Obama has been double-crossed again. He is being flipped from side to side in this sectarian battle.  The problem with “leading from behind” is that other people lead you by the nose. You fit in where you can, carrying other people’s water for their own purposes. It’s a shambles. How is the administration going to spin it?

Calling Susan Rice, calling Susan Rice.  A video producer wants to speak to you on the white courtesy telephone.

But the president’s fingers are in the vise. Can he risk one fifth of the world’s oil reserves falling under ISIS? Can he risk leaving thousands of Americans to the tender mercies of ISIS? He must do something in Iraq.  Obama is between Iraq and a hard place.

The key to untangling this skein is in getting at the truth. What is Obama’s foreign policy? Things don’t add up. John McCain should have copied Bryan Cranston’s Godzilla rant and said instead in the Senate “You’re not fooling anybody … You’re lying! … because what’s really happening is that you’re hiding something out there. And it is going to send us back to the Stone Age!”"

Recent items of interest by Belmont readers based on Amazon click-throughs.

Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
Syma S111G 3.5 Channel RC Helicopter with Gyro
Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s Story
On the Psychology of Military Incompetence
The Forgotten Man Graphic Edition: A New History of the Great Depression
The Idiot Vote: The Democrats’ Core Constituency
Ear Wax Rmvl Syr
Storm Over The South China Sea
The War of the Words (The World of Information)

Did you know that you can purchase some of these books and pamphlets by Richard Fernandez and share them with you friends? They will receive a link in their email and it will automatically give them access to a Kindle reader on their smartphone, computer or even as a web-readable document.

The War of the Words for $3.99, Understanding the crisis of the early 21st century in terms of information corruption in the financial, security and political spheres
Rebranding Christianity for $3.99, or why the truth shall make you free
The Three Conjectures at Amazon Kindle for $1.99, reflections on terrorism and the nuclear age
Storming the Castle at Amazon Kindle for $3.99, why government should get small
No Way In at Amazon Kindle $8.95, print $9.99. Fiction. A flight into peril, flashbacks to underground action.
Storm Over the South China Sea $0.99, how China is restarting history in the Pacific
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Top Rated Comments   

The ISIS do not move without massive amounts of fuel, food, water, and of course ammunition and weaponry. 100,000+ kids don't move up through Latin America, through Mexico, and into US borders without massive amounts of logistical support.

All of this costs money. All of these events are sponsored, and the sponsors intend a war against the US or US interests by proxy.

F**ck hearts and minds. Forget nation building. Attack the sponsors. Leave them and their families bleeding and all their worldly possessions cold, dark and silent.

America can win, but winning can be ugly, because ALL warfare is ugly. When it suites American interests and does not put strategic security at risk, yes, we can be magnanimous. We can help our friends. However, America can only "win" by defining the true enemy, attacking, and defeating them.

The sore truth is, if the progressive left wing of American diplomacy did not co-opt a successful military campaign into a massive international social program, America's war would be won and over. After Bagdad, the USA should have dealt with Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and absolutely Pakistan. Destroy their ability to fight and injure Americans, then walk away. Instead, the American (and international) left redefined America's mission, and set impossible goals, and Bush's team bought into it.

Nothing America does is ever enough for the progressives. America is losing as a result.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All of Obama and Hillary's MENA policies have benefited Al Qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood or the Taliban. Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Benghazi, Afghanistan, Bergdahl, etc etc. Twice a coincidence, three times a pattern, maybe; but all? It's policy. Obama and Hillary's policies only benefit the enemies of the West. Why isn't anyone ranting that on the Senate Floor?
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
We have elected a president with questionable origins with a resume that could fit on a postage stamp. He was trained in Alinsky tactics and used them to play on 'America's guilt,' the novelty of electing a black president combined with his close friends and confidents, his 'fellow travelers' to be elected not once, but twice.

As our military battles are studied by our enemies in their war colleges, this event will be studied for a long time. How America almost came to her knees by an enemy infiltrator.

37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (90)
All Comments   (90)
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USAF providing air cover for iraninan Quids forces? Sure, why not? We have no principle that our leaders are willing to stand for except more income(redistribution).

When the First Amendment is a dear to our leaders as the Spun God is to the Senator, then we'll be picking targets on the other side of that bright line.

Until then. Flail. The.Word.for.the.Day.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
This new Iraq war exposes some existential risks for a number of parties.

At root, it is the big Sunni/Shia clash that has been building for over 1300 years. But the real risks I think unforeseen by both sides is that if this conflict spreads to the West or particularly America, a mini three conjectures could be in the offing. The Saudi's and Gulf States risk being exposed as the Terror Masters they are, and then both the Mullahs and the Sheiks will be in the crosshairs if a real American takes power.

The stakes could be even greater for the Democrats.

First of all, I ain't buying Wretchard's grand deal with AQ. The heart of that deal from our side allegedly would be that in some demented deranged way Buraq and Hill were trying to protect America's interests. There is no evidence that they care at all.

No, it's like Buraq emotionally is still is High School, and he that he has a gay
( he is gay) schoolgirl crush on the really cool, really bad ass Muslims. He only wants to hang with them, so he only helps the MB, AQ and ISIS. Not the stodgy establishment Muslim; they are totally uncool, and for that Buraq is not even a good concerned Muslim in the end.

His concern for America's welfare is atomic particle deep. Nearly not there at all, and for that reason he wouldn't have extended the effort because he is after all way to lazy and self absorbed , and not nearly intelligent enough by a several miles to arrange a deal with AQ that in some way could help America.

Hillary is almost as bad. She had a just out of jail free card on Bergdahl but she pissed it all away. One the eve of a monumental foreign policy disaster that has her fingerprints all over it in Iraq, she comes out all in for the Taliban 5 swap.

Only a totally clueless and tone deaf politician would do such an idiotic thing.

But what really should frighten any Democrat right now is a significant terrorist attack on the American Homeland.

The Dems have gone all in on both sides of the Sunni/Shia divide with the real crazies. If a terrorist attack comes, the Dems - all of them- will have no place to hide. And the bad part, because Hill and Buraq got us so deep in this mess, is that, whatever side we choose to help or not help will have a serious existential grievance for one of their nuttcase factions to attack us. We are in a no win situation because of what Hill and Buraq, unless of course we got hardass and took out both sides.

Hill and Buraq help to create ISIS and emboldened AQ. They bent over backwards for the Mullahs and did not come to the aid of the Iranian people who wanted Democracy at all. In multiple ways, the Dems created this mess lock, stock and barrel, and extended no effort to protect America in any way from its consequences.

If a terrorist attack comes, the Dems will get more than blame, more than pitchforks, many of the them literally will get the noose on that lamppost.

37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ah, and a perfect time for the President to call for all of the guns! Can just imagine it - a nuke goes off somewhere in the US (probably around where all that crazy fracking is ongoing) and in the chaos, Obama instructs his "civilian security force that is just as powerful, just as well funded, as the US military" to go collect the guns.

Can you even imagine what kind of stress and turmoil that will be going on in the guts of those who think, "Oh, my gosh...we are collecting the guns at the most likely time in America's history when the country will need them to survive."
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Why prop up Mailki?

If Iraq were a real country, its people would fight in their own defense. They won’t, because they don’t care which parasites govern them.

We can no more force the Iraqis to be governed by Maliki than we can force our elite to defend a Constitution, government, society, and civilization they despise.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Seems like the commenters here are speaking plainer than usual, as though it no longer seems any less likely to be chopped by a Taliban or Al-Qaeda fanatic than by a government in a frenzied footrace to see how many citizens they can betray before effective resistance begins to pop up everywhere.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
>>>>But the president’s fingers are in the vise. Can he risk one fifth of the world’s oil reserves falling under ISIS? Can he risk leaving thousands of Americans to the tender mercies of ISIS? He must do something in Iraq. Obama is between Iraq and a hard place.<<<<

It is not the president's fingers in a vise. It is another bit of anatomy belonging to the American people.

Seriously, say all that is projected here, and worse comes true. What impact will that have on the rule of Obama and his regime? Congress will do nothing. The burdens will be borne exclusively by the American people and not by the Bipartisan Governing Class. The oil falling under the control of ISIS means a self-funding terrorist movement, which is a good thing for the Left. After throwing away the sacrifice of 4,486 American lives, and the life disruption of 8 times that many wounded; the 25,000 Americans left in Iraq will be nothing to our government. They can depend on the media not to show the gory details and not mention them.

So who is it in the vise?

And since he will not pay any price, why should Obama take steps to stop the terrorists?

History has a certain inertia. Dominoes are falling, and not all of them are outside our borders. We are living in interesting times. The one "good" thing is that not all the dominoes are going to fall the enemy's way.

Subotai Bahadur
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Other than McCain the Pubs are mostly silent. They are busy pretending the Cantor win meant nothing, and intend to replace him with Cantor 2, Mr McCarthy.

Boehner of course will probably still be speaker when I die.
All's well that never ends in DC.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
"If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons."
- Winston Churchill

Given that we should determine our policy first by supporting our friends and then by prioritizing our enemies according to threat level. It is conceivable that we may want to help Iran harm ISIS. If so that would only be a tactical gesture. The Mullocracy must be destroyed and al-Qaeda must be destroyed. Sometimes both sides in a fight are no good. That is a concept that many people raised on low fiction with obvious bad guys and formula good guys whose problems get resolved in at most 52 minutes plus commercials cannot grasp. So we need to make clear who is on our side that we want to win, and equally important be seen as winning, at the end of this exercise. Then we need to decide who is the immediate threat that we need to see lose. We also need to ensure that in doing so we do not create an even greater problem in the next round.

We want Israel to win. We want the Kurds to win. We want the Christians left in the region to win, or at least survive. We want the Indians to win.

What can we do, that is to say what can a rebellious Congress press for?
1. Force out, defund, eliminate job positions for, key Obama functionaries.
2. A sane energy policy. Gas oil coal nuke and transport or distribution.
3. Cost based regulation and deregulation, shifting wealth and power, reindustrializing.
4. A massive shift of resources to rebuilding the military, repudiating the Obama/Hagel social agenda. Why? Not because of animus towards those injected into the military. We need to decouple any seeking benefits from the Obamists from the Left. One way to do that is making clear that loyalty to Obama and the Left costs. Any who sought benefits at the expense of American security in return for loyalty to the Left, and that includes homosexuals and illegal aliens and minority grievance mongers, must learn that they are paying a cost, not because of who they are but because of who they support. Doing so is axiomatic to the Left and they are confident that conservatives would never play by those rules. Shock them and take a page from Eric Holder's script.

Impeachment is probably a dead end but the threat may help and full blown investigations should be the normal course of business. Democrats in WW-II provided more aggressive oversight than Congress has performed over Obama. Congress has the power to not just impeach Eric Holder or a political judge but to eliminate their jobs. The Judiciary Act of 1802 eliminated 16 judgeships. The only jobs clearly listed in the Constitution for the Executive and Judicial branches are the POTUS the VPOTUS and the Chief Justice. All other offices are created by Congress.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Benghazi trip wire blew up Obama/Clinton plans.

There was something plotted there that got double crossed. Obama/Clinton are desperate to hide it.

Uncover that...and every other domino tips the next one over.

The Muslim Brotherhood was the bagman. Israel got sold out and a hit was put out on Gaddafi. The Mafialinsky's thought they were slick. They got schooled.

And now, desperately trying to cover their trail. And figure out how to get the lethal virus they unleashed back in the Petri dish.

The Woodstock Scumbags assembled in Benghazi. Now, they're everywhere.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Lessee, the Benghazi attack was planned, reccruited, and led by a couple of released Gitmo detainees, now we learn that ISIS is rolling up Iraq under a released Gitmo detainee. I think iirc there's been some attacks in Afghanistan led by commanders similarly qualified.

That's some long odds on personnel coincidences --not so much in the detainees released becoming big-time commanders, but in the fact that we caught so many potential big-timers with so much potential in the first place.

It's as if an enemy were to somehow capture and imprison a decade's worth of West Point grads, and then release them to spread out into the command positions for which they'd been picked before they were captured.

It just seems squirrely. Something else squirrely, the Coast Guard's behavior under incident commander Thad Allen, some oddities such as CG sinking that rig that was burning off the blowout without an oil spill, and ignoring a cease & desist order to dump the last half of BP's associated company Nalco's neurotoxin Corexit into the gulf (there's a fish story here, and a friends of Eric Holder, compromised BOP investigation, krill oil corporate sabotage, et cetera, but it's too long to relate here), and then Allen retiring as the well was killed, to become a Booz Allen (employer of NSA/CGI's PRISM whistleblower Snowden) associate, and go off on a Law of the Sea Treaty promo tour.

Anyhoo, if there really was a CG cabal, it was there when Bergdahl enlisted in the CG, only to wash out a month later and join the Army --without, as far as has been uncovered, the special waiver needed by Army for such a sequence to pertain.

Lotta funny stuff, ain't it. You'd think the world population was only a few hundred people, for so much to come out of so few.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
PS, just to show,

Note the cluster of policy pieces around the dates of the oil spill, including one on March 02 2010, just before the April 20, 2010 blowout, complaining the CG budget was being cut and arguing strongly for a reversal of that budget cut. Note the enthusiasm for the military mission, so uncharacteristic of this George Soros founded & funded, John Podesta managed, far-left Obama Administration think tank. Note the oddity of the out-of-the-blue proposal to seat the CG on the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I am conflicted here...
On one hand, the price we paid in Iraq was for nothing.
On the other hand a lot of Muslims are dying.
I guess anything we can do to increase the latter without the former works for me.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
A Polish town has erected an interesting statue of Lenin.

Perhaps this could start a trend. Imagine a statue of Mohammed doing the same thing...
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
--how about a respectful statue of Mohhammadd, arm in arm with his 9 year old wife? Maybe in the Greco-Roman style --buck nekkid?

On a more serious note, THIS ought to be publicized, hopefully quickly, while Mr. Bergdahl is still in transit.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some speculations about the complex world in which we live:

After the alphabet media have finished interrupting their 24/7 Kim Kardashian coverage with news about the collapse of Iraq, are we likely to learn that the newly-independent state of East Ukraine has signed a treat of perpetual friendship with Mother Russia? Ukraine, anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

If there really are large numbers of Al Qaeda sleepers in the US, would the ideal time to activate them be when Barry Soetero bypasses Congress to announce some futile bomb-dropping in some unrelated location in the Middle East?

And if Al Qaeda did execute a terrorist attack on the continental US or Hawaii, would Congress respond by declaring war or by expanding Amnesty?
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
If only we could induce those AQ sleepers to join the local chapter of the Tea Party, then NSA and IRS and DOJ could easily identify and locate them.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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