by Don Bacon, September 14, 2014 (and continually updated)
News report, June 26, 2014: U.S. officials are now anxiously focused on a thousand-year-old sacred site in Samarra, a city 80 miles north of Baghdad now mostly controlled by ISIS. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: “Clearly, everyone understands that Samarra is an important line,” Kerry said in Baghdad. “Historically, an assault on Samarra created enormous problems in Iraq. That is something that we all do not want to see happen again.”
Except they do.
It's a phony war.
The current "war" against ISIS is all for show because the division of Iraq has been a US objective since the realization (in 2005) that the US stupidly created an Iran ally with its invasion & occupation. The invasion of Iraq proved a pivotal moment in the centuries-old balance of power between the two sects that emerged from a schism in Islam 1,300 years ago. Iraq is the first major Arab country to be run by Shi'ites in more than eight centuries. Obama has even claimed that he wasn't informed by the extensive, expensived US intelligence community that The Caliphate, calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and later called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), was invading Iraq staring in December 2013. . How could Obama not know that the militant group seized Fallujah, not far from Baghdad, a city the US had conducted several major battles in under the past administration, in January 2014? He didn't know about ISIS until June or July? Poppycock. Of course Obama knew.
What's the objective? -- the partition of Iraq and Syria
The only viable strategy, then, may be to correct the historical defect and move in stages toward a three-state solution: Kurds in the north, Sunnis in the center and Shiites in the south. --Leslie Gelb, Council on Foreign Relations, from NYTimes, Nov 25, 2003
Author Max Fuller described it years ago-- divide and conquer
The intention of the Bush administration is not to promote one group over the other but to foment widespread sectarian violence that will precipitate the destruction of the state and easier control of its resources. -- ICH, Apr 21, 2006
The latest news first (historical background facts follow below the fold)
Syria October 13
Once SAA units will have managed to break through rebel defences, especially in areas 1 and 2, this might cause a disorganised retreat of the trapped rebel units. That moment of the battle could be crucial, as it might be the starting point to a massive artillery barrage (MRLs) and large RuAF airstrikes, resulting in crippling casualties among rebel ranks. As far as the number of direct hits through rebel TOW missiles is concerned, this is likely to increase the ongoing installation of electro-optical jammers (Shtora type) on SAA MBTs and APCs, which could be a potential game changer as such, given that it would significantly reduce the effectiveness of the rebels' most potent weapon in the current engagements. Finally, regarding the next move of the Russian/Syrian troops, and although it is not too difficult to guess what they are up to, a lot will depend on the momentum they will manage to build up (or not) in the ongoing operations. -- Patrick Bahzad
Note the dark grey area in the map above, the main ISIS-controlled supply route from US NATO ally - Turkey.
Note that the dark-grey ISIS-controlled area extends along the Euphrates from the bell-shaped area on the Turkish border (north) to Iraq (southeast). The US--Turkey strategy has been to keep that Nusra/ISIS supply corridor open. Recently the YPG (Syria Kurds) attacked ISIS-held Jarabulus, on the border at the right (east) end of that "bell." So Turkey has stepped up attacks on the YPG, no doubt with US support.
If the Kurds could push west to their comrades on the left (west) end of that "bell" at Afrin the supply lines would be shut down, which US-Turkey opposes.
Here is Jarabulus.
And the Kurdish areas in northern Syria, including both Jarabulus and Afrin on the border at the center (near Euphrates river)
and left at top, and also the ISIS capital Raqqah in the center of the map.
Top US officer says Russia has countered US Syria goals
Russian bombing and Iranian-backed forces have helped give Syrian President Bashar Assad's embattled forces an advantage in the country's bitter civil war, the top U.S. military officer said Tuesday, suggesting a sharp setback for the Obama administration. Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appeared to contradict upbeat assessments by the White House last month that indicated Assad's government had suffered a series of military losses and was losing control.-- LATimes, Oct 27
The US has been holding back, but no more...
Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Tuesday that the U.S. will begin "direct action on the ground" against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria, aiming to intensify pressure on the militants as progress against them remains elusive. "We won't hold back from supporting capable partners in opportunistic attacks against ISIL, or conducting such missions directly whether by strikes from the air or direct action on the ground." -- NBCNews, Oct 27
...but Iraq says "no thanks"
The Iraqi government said Wednesday it didn't ask for — and doesn't need — the "direct action on the ground" promised by the Pentagon. The revelation came a day after Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the U.S. may carry out more unilateral ground raids — like last week's rescue operation to free hostages — in Iraq to target ISIS militants. -- NBCNews
...which makes the US position..irrelevant
If Russian aircraft start bombing ISIS targets in Iraq, the U.S. military will rethink its presence there, the Pentagon’s top military officer told lawmakers Tuesday. “I tried to explain to [Iraqi leaders] that our continued support really would be problematic were they to invite the Russians in to conduct strikes,” Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “I was assured that they had not extended that invitation and that they did not intend to extend an invitation to do that.”-- DefenseOne
US airstrikes have decreased in Syria since Russia came in...
US strikes on Islamic State militants in Syria averaged about seven per day in August, a pace similar to the entire first year of the air campaign that began last year. And from October 1 through October 26, as the Russians began airstrikes on targets in Syria supporting embattled President Bashar al-Assad, the daily average of airstrikes fell to below four per day, the data shows. -- DefenseNews
...but now they will increase in the "new strategy"
Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Tuesday the Obama administration is preparing to accelerate its military campaign against Islamic State militants, including launching more and heavier airstrikes in Syria.--OttawaCitizen
US NATO ally Turkey fires on Kurds attempting to close ISIS Turkey-Syria supply line
ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey has confirmed that its military has attacked the main Kurdish force in northern Syria. The U.S.-supported Kurdish militia, known as the YPG, said the Turkish military shot at its forces deployed in the town of Tal Abyad twice on Sunday, using mostly machine guns. No one was injured in the shooting and the Kurdish forces didn’t return fire. Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu confirmed that the military targeted the Kurdish forces in an interview with Turkey’s ATV television late Monday. “We said the PYD will not go west of the Euphrates and that we would hit it the moment it did. We hit it twice,” Davutoglu said. -- Washinton Post, Oct 27
Iraqi Forces: ISIL Leaders Confess Receiving Intelligence Support from US
TEHRAN (FNA)- Spokesman of Iraq's Kata'ib Hezbollah (Hezbollah Battalions) popular forces Jafar al-Hosseini disclosing that captured ISIL leaders have acknowledged receiving logistical backup and intelligence support from the US. "As the ISIL commanders captured in Iraqi popular forces' recent military operations have confessed, the US supports for the terrorist groups are not limited to the dispatch of logistical support," Al-Hosseini told FNA on Sunday.
He reiterated that the US has provided the ISIL with intelligence about the Iraqi forces' positions and targets. "ISIL commanders trusted the US officials who had assured them that the Iraqi forces would not attack Fallujah because the US had urged the Iraqi government to prevent the popular forces from entering Fallujah and raid Beiji instead; hence the terrorists left Fallujah for Beiji to stay on the alert in there," Al-Hosseini added.
Al-Hosseini had also stated on Wednesday that his forces plan to win back the city of Ramadi only after expelling the American forces from Anbar province. "Our forces have two operations underway; first seizing Ramadi from ISIL and second keeping away the American forces from Anbar province," al-Hosseini told FNA. He underlined that preventing the US forces from getting close to Anbar province will expedite operations for winning back the province, specially after the military operations in Salahuddin province that led to the liberation of the city of Beiji.-- FarsNews, Oct 25
Russian Air Force does something the US never did, cuts off ISIS supply lines by bombing bridge over Euphrates River
Russia’s airplanes cut off routes used by Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) to deliver supplies to Syria from Iraq by bombing a bridge over the Euphrates River, the Russian General Staff said. -- RT, Oct 23, 2015
This phony war takes its toll.
A good man has lost his life.
MSGT Joshua L. Wheeler, 39, of Roland, Oklahoma, died Oct. 22, in Kirkuk Province, Iraq.
Wheeler, father of four, was a sacrificial lamb in a phony war.
Reminds me of the country gospel song:
"Are you washed in the blood, In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?"
The US needs such sacrifices to authenticate its phony war.
SecDef Carter, who will be there with photographers to see the body arrive, assures us that there will be more.
It shouldn't have been necessary for this warrior to die.
Why does ISIS still exist after almost a year of US "precision bombing?"
Hundreds of sorties and thousands of tons of bombs, some of which, were are told, can be put through someone's bedroom window?
But what do we have instead?
Coalition bombing and U.S. diplomacy fails to prevent Islamic State from making $50 million a month selling oil
The Islamic State rakes in up to $50 million a month from selling crude from oilfields under its control in Iraq and Syria, part of a well-run industry that U.S. diplomacy and airstrikes have so far failed to shut down, the Associated Press writes.--OttawaCitizen, Oct 23
More evidence the the US is surely fighting a phony war. It can't destroy oil pumps and refineries with its mighty air force? This is what Putin has been talking about, that the US is given targeting information but won't execute. Why? The USA won't destroy the oil pumps and refineries because that is exactly what they have in mind to "acquire". Meanwhile ISIS prospers to kill good men like MSGT Wheeler for politicians' political gain, to wash in the blood of the lamb.
Look for the Kurds to close off the ISIS supply line from Turkey
U.S. officials hope the YPG will now turn its attention to Raqqa, the Syrian city that is the defacto capital of the Islamic State, which lies just 60 miles south of Tal Abyad, a border town the YPG seized from the Islamic State in June, with U.S. help.
But PYD spokesman Can said the Kurdish group’s first priority is to link the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, northwest of the Syrian city of Aleppo, with Kobani, the Kurdish enclave northeast of Aleppo. That would mean clearing the Islamic State from villages along 60 miles of the Turkey-Syria border, in particular the border town of Jarablus.
“Our prime and most important goal is to liberate Jarablus and to connect Kobani with Afrin,” Can told McClatchy. Capturing Raqqa, a mostly Arab city, is “not really” a PYD objective, he said. “Not for now,” he said.-- McClatchy, Oct 12
The weak US air campaign has been noticed -- only 20 strikes per day in Iraq and 7 in Syria
As of Oct. 6, the US and partner nations had conducted 7,323 strikes against ISIS: 4,701 in Iraq and 2,622 in Syria, according to a Pentagon report on OIR. Over one year, that averages out to about 13 strikes in Iraq and seven strikes in Syria each day. By comparison, during the 42-day Desert Storm air campaign against Saddam Hussein in 1991, coalition fighters and bombers flew 48,224 strike sorties, or 1,100 a day. Twelve years later, the 31-day Iraqi Freedom air campaign averaged more than 800 offensive sorties a day.
This limited application of air power to destroy ISIS raises questions about the administration’s objectives, according to retired Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, former deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. The administration’s “anemic” action against ISIS has created a void in the region, one that Russia is all too happy to fill, Deptula said.-- DefenseNews, Oct 11
President Obama said the mighty US military, the finest military the world has ever seen, can't shut off ISIS supply line and defeat ISIS
"Our military and intelligence efforts are not going to succeed alone; they have to be matched by political and economic progress to address the conditions that ISIL has exploited in order to take root," Obama said.-- UPI, Sep 29
Meanwhile, Russia will do it
The upper chamber of the Russian parliament has unanimously given a formal consent to President Putin to use the nation’s military in Syria to fight terrorism at a request from the Syrian President Bashar Assad. . .Ivanov stressed that no ground operations are planned in Syria. Russia would use its warplanes to hit terrorist targets when requested by the Syrian government. He stressed that unlike the US-led coalition of countries that bombs militant troops in Syria, Russia was invited to do so by the legal authorities of Syria and thus follows international law.-- RT
Has Russia's intervention changed US strategy? -- U.S., Russia agree Syria must be united and secular: Kerry
The United States and Russia agree on "some fundamental principles" for Syria, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Tuesday, adding that he plans to meet again with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday."There was agreement that Syria should be a unified country, united, that it needs to be secular, that ISIL (Islamic State) needs to be taken on, and that there needs to be a managed transition," Kerry told MSNBC, adding that differences remained on what the outcome of such a transition would be.-- Reuters, Sep 29, 2015
**There was agreement that Syria should be a unified country, united, that it needs to be secular, that ISIL (Islamic State) needs to be taken on**
The US has combined with Turkey against the Kurds, a major anti-ISIS force, with the US offering Kurds "RPG Magnets"
Dozens of MRAPs provided by the U.S. government to its Kurdish allies in Iraq have arrived without protective side armor, Fox News has learned, with one security contractor who works with the Kurds saying the missing armor makes riding in them tantamount to "committing suicide." The U.S. government promised 250 Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAPs) for Iraqi allies to help in the fight against the Islamic State.
But Phil Hudicourt, former Army Special Forces member who has spent more than a decade in Iraq, told Fox News the vehicles are "dangerous" without the armor plates. "The military calls it an 'RPG magnet'," he said. [rpg = rocket-propelled grenade] "I don't know what level it was made, if it was made at a low level, high level, but it's a pretty stupid decision. Because riding in those MRAPs with all the amount of RPG 29s in the country is committing suicide." -- FoxNews, Sep 29
More baloney from Washington--"proposed adjustments have been put on hold" . . .yadda yadda
Administration decisions on a series of proposed adjustments to its strategy against the Islamic State have been put on hold pending more information about Russia’s intentions in Syria and President Obama’s desire for clarification of the proposals themselves, according to senior administration officials. Even as Russian President Vladimir Putin started sending tanks, aircraft and additional personnel to Syria’s Mediterranean coast early this month, Obama told his top national security advisers to step back and assemble a sharper picture of how various proposed initiatives would fit together into a coherent whole and improve what is a largely stagnant conflict. Putin’s moves have further delayed and complicated decision-making on plans that include sending U.S. arms directly to Kurdish and Arab rebels in northeastern Syria, and scaling back and revamping a failed U.S. military training program for other Syrian opposition fighters.-- WaPo, Sep 26
HELLO -- THE US SHOULD HAVE HELPED THE KURDS TOCUT THE ISIS SUPPLY LINE FROM TURKEY LONG BEFORE THIS!!
It goes on - Reports of New Syrian Force Equipment Being Provided to Al Nusra Front
TAMPA, Fla. - U.S. Central Command was notified at approximately 1 p.m. today that a commander of a New Syrian Forces element operating in Syria surrendered some of his unit's Coalition-issued equipment to a suspected Al Nusra Front intermediary purportedly in exchange for safe passage within their operating area. "Today the NSF unit contacted Coalition representatives and informed us that on Sept. 21-22 they gave six pick-up trucks and a portion of their ammunition to a suspected Al Nusra Front intermediary, which equates to roughly 25 percent of their issued equipment," said Col. Patrick Ryder, U.S. Central Command spokesperson. "If accurate, the report of NSF members providing equipment to Al Nusra Front is very concerning and a violation of Syria train and equip program guidelines." -- centcom, Sep 25
How could the train & equip program have gone bad?
The Special Operations Command issued a totally corrupt no-bid sole-source non-competitive contracts for $57 million to a six-person freight forwarding firm in Virginia, Purple Shovel LLC, for training and arms, all of which was faulty. Purple Shovel is based out of an industrial mall in Sterling, Va. The company, after receiving two contracts from Special Operations Command that amounted to more than $50 million dollars, hired additional subcontractors to procure a range of small arms and light weapons. The arms would then be sent to Syrian rebels being trained by the United States to fight the self-declared Islamic State.-- BuzzFeed
The boys who helped bring us the Iraq mess dredge up the "safe zone" strategy for Syria- first, David Petraeus --
Petraeus called Syria a “geopolitical Chernobyl” in open-ended testimony on Middle East policy and said it was conceivable that the country, besieged by four years of multifaceted war, would permanently fracture. He argued – in contradiction to the views of Central Command chief Lloyd Austin – that the US military ought to patrol a corridor by air to create a safe zone for Syrian civilians, partly as a staging ground for a Syrian opposition to fight both Assad and Isis, one that includes Syrians who do not take part in the shaky US initiative to train and equip so-called “moderate” fighters. --TheGuardian, Sep 22
-- then Michael O’Hanlon (Petraeus acolyte): The case for deconstructing Syria
By helping opposition forces create pockets of sanctuary within Syria that would grow stronger and larger over time, we can help at least the people living in these zones — while also building up, bit by bit, a political and military strategy that could eventually prove successful against extremist forces and the regime. This strategy has the added advantage of being viable even as Russia escalates its role in certain sectors of the country, because it does not require any near-term and direct U.S. military challenge to Assad’s core areas of rule (though we could threaten to destroy any regime aircraft that continued the horrific barrel-bombing tactic). This approach would also build on current U.S. strategy, including the recent claim by Ankara and Washington that they will create a safe zone in Syria’s north — but with a much less glaring mismatch between means and ends. We would no longer require either ideological purity of opposition fighters before we train and equip them or pledges on their part not to fight Assad and his murderous regime. Training them in the safety of Turkey, Jordan and other friendly countries would still be a key step, but not a sufficient one. -- WashingtonPost, Sep 24
O'Hanlon: "We would no longer require either ideological purity of opposition fighters" --- as if the US hasn't been supporting Islamic radicals (directly and via the GCC) ever since Zbigniew Brzezinski, under Carter, who has taken credit for drawing USSR into Afghanistan by supporting Islamic radicals, about which he famously said: "What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?"
--and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - ISIS-supporting Turkey wants a "safe zone" too
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday said the formation of a safe zone inside war-torn Syria, free from the Islamic State group, would help the return of 1.7 million refugees. "The clearance of those regions and the creation of a safe zone there will lay the ground for 1.7 citizens here to return home," Erdogan told reporters at an airport in Ankara. -- AFP, Jul 28, 2015
Russia moves into the Middle East vacuum.
Russian, Syrian and Iranian military commanders have set up a coordination cell in Baghdad in recent days to try to begin working with Iranian-backed Shia militias fighting the Islamic State, Fox News has learned. Western intelligence sources say the coordination cell includes low-level Russian generals. U.S. officials say it is not clear whether the Iraqi government is involved at the moment. Describing the arrival of Russian military personnel in Baghdad, one senior U.S. official said, "They are popping up everywhere." -- FoxNews, Sep 25
Revealed: Whistleblower who rebelled against doctored ISIS reports named.
Gregory Hooker is at the center of an insurrection of United States Central Command intelligence analysts over America’s latest war in Iraq. As the senior Iraq analyst at Central Command, the military headquarters in Tampa that oversees American military operations across the Middle East and Central Asia, Mr. Hooker is the leader of a group of analysts that is accusing senior commanders of changing intelligence reports to paint an overly optimistic portrait of the American bombing campaign against the Islamic State. The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating. --NYTimes, Sep 23
Gregory Hooker is critical of reports on the ISIS fight.
The Kurds, America’s boots on the ground in Syria and Iraq, have their limits
“The Kurds of Iraq and Syria are the only effective force in either country fighting [the Islamic State] but that’s because we are defending our land and homes and people,” said the official, who asked to remain anonymous because he’s not authorized to comment on military operations publicly.
“The Arabs in both countries want our help to defeat Daash but we see this as an Arab problem,” the official said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State. “We cannot ask our people who have already seen thousands of Kurds die fighting to accept more casualties for an offensive in Raqqa or (the northern Iraqi city of) Mosul when these are primarily Arab areas.” -- McClatchy, Sep 23, 2015
Obama's Islamic State War Czar
Got FiredStepping Down
President Barack Obama is about to lose the man he hand-picked to build the war effort against the Islamic State. Retired General John Allen will be stepping down as envoy to the global coalition this fall, and the White House is searching for a replacement to be the face of America’s flailing effort to destroy the jihadist group in Syria and Iraq.-- Bloomberg, Sep 22
New US-Trained Rebels in Syria Gave Their Weapons to al-Qaeda - Commander: We Tricked US Because We Needed Weapons
The second class entered Syria by way of Turkey on Friday, and according to reports there were between 70 and 75 of them in total. Today, reports out of Syria suggest that the group immediately took its weapons and vehicles to al-Qaeda territory and turned them all over to them. -- antiwar.com, Sep 22
International coalition only simulating anti-terrorist efforts in Middle East — Russian FM
The United States-led international coalition is only simulating anti-terrorist efforts in the Middle East, Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said on Friday. "Regrettably, all attempts of the international coalition to counter the terrorist group Islamic State look more like some demonstrative steps, an attempt at simulating anti-terrorist activity," she said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 television channel. "First, Islamic State is only growing. Second, there is no model the coalition might offer as a successful project." -- TASS, Sep 19, 2015President Barack Obama is about to lose the man he hand-picked to build the war effort against the Islamic State. Retired General John Allen will be stepping down as envoy to the global coalition this fall, and the White House is searching for a replacement to be the face of America’s flailing effort to destroy the jihadist group in Syria and Iraq.-- Bloomberg, Sep 22
This just in -- Central Command says 9 US-trained rebels now fighting in Syria, 4 more than cited earlier
The U.S. military says four more U.S.-trained moderate Syrian rebels have joined the fight against the Islamic State in Syria, raising the total to nine. That's far from the thousands the Pentagon hoped to have by now. Gen. Austin Lloyd oversees the war against IS. On Wednesday, he told Congress that four or five trained rebels were fighting in Syria. On Friday his spokesman, Col. Patrick Ryder, told reporters that four more had re-entered Syria since Austin spoke.-- AP, Sep 18, 2015
Try not to laugh --
Just “four or five” U.S.-trained anti-ISIS fighters are combatting the so-called Islamic State, a top American military official told Congress on Wednesday, despite a program that cost as much as $500 million. It is a staggeringly low number for a project in which the Obama administration had initially planned to train 5,400 fighters a year. At this pace of training, U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin told a Senate committee, the U.S. “won’t reach the goal we initially established for ourself.” -- DailyBeast, Sep 16, 2015
Interview with Syria president Assad
"When you have terrorism, and you have the destruction of the infrastructure, you won’t have the basic needs of living, so many people leave because of the terrorism and because they want to earn their living somewhere in this world. So, the West is crying for them, and the West is supporting terrorists since the beginning of the crisis when it said that this was a peaceful uprising, when they said later it’s moderate opposition, and now they say there is terrorism like al-Nusra and ISIS, but because of the Syrian state or the Syrian regime or the Syrian president. So, as long as they follow this propaganda, they will have more refugees. So, it’s not about that Europe didn’t accept them or embrace them as refugees, it’s about not dealing with the cause. If you are worried about them, stop supporting terrorists. That’s what we think regarding the crisis. This is the core of the whole issue of refugees. . .As you know, we are at war with terrorism, and this terrorism is supported by foreign powers. This means that we are in a state of complete war. . . .But as for Western cooperation with al-Nusra Front, this is a reality, because we know that Turkey supports al-Nusra and ISIS by providing them with arms, money, and terrorist volunteers. And it is well known that Turkey has close relations with the West. Erdogan and Davutoglu cannot make a single move without coordinating first with the United States and other Western countries. Al-Nusra and ISIS operate with such a force in the region under Western cover. . .Who are ISIS? And who are these groups? They are simply extremist products of the West." -- SANA, Sep 16, 2015
The Russia FM Lavrov has the US number -- "Russia exposes US’ hidden agenda in Syria"
Moscow has information the U.S. is aware of the Islamic State’s (IS) positions, but would not begin air strikes, according to Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov .
“I hope I would not fail anyone by saying some of our counterparts, members of the coalition, say they sometimes have information about where, at which positions are the IS certain groups, but the coalition’s commander in the U.S. naturally would not agree to deliver a strike. Our American counterparts either from the very beginning were establishing the coalition not enough thoroughly, or the idea was it should have the goals other from those declared. The coalition was formed very spontaneously: within just a few days they declared it was ready, certain countries have joined, and they began some strikes. Analysis of the coalition’s aviation causes weird impressions. The suspicions are besides the declared goal of fighting the Islamic State there is something else in that coalition’s goals. I do not want to make any conclusions – it is not clear what impressions, information of higher ideas the commander may have – but signals of the kind are coming”.-- novorussia, Sep 13, 2015
And on Lavrov, from M K Bhadrakumar --
Lavrov is a highly experienced and brilliant diplomat. Most certainly, he wouldn’t have made an off-the-cuff remark of this sort. To be sure, the proxy war in Syria has acquired a terrible beauty. Lavrov has politely told the US to back off from undercutting Russia’s decision to go for the jugular veins of the IS — or else, there will be mud on Obama’s face. In plain terms, Lavrov has signaled to Washington that Moscow knows about the American game plan to foster the IS as its cats paw to be eventually inserted into Russia’s underbelly in Central Asia and North Caucasus. Of course, Russian intelligence must be aware that hundreds of fighters have travelled from Russia to join the IS. (Actually, Abu Omar Shishani, an ethnic Chechen, is a prominent IS commander.) Given this grim reality, Moscow has decided to draw a red line. It has concluded that the IS poses a significant menace to the Muslim-majority regions of Russia’s north Caucasus.-- rediff, Sep 14, 2015
All is well with a top general. . . “real successes” . . .And I've got this bridge...
A top general leading efforts against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) said the U.S. has made “remarkable progress” in the last year. Gen. John Allen said Sunday that he was not sure a year ago if Iraq would survive the rise of ISIS. While there is significant work still to be done, he said the U.S. and its allies have had some “real successes” in its efforts. “Where we were a year ago today, I wasn't sure how it was going to unfold,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” “In the intervening months, we've seen remarkable progress in many respects. We've seen the emergence of a capable leader and a partner in Baghdad in the form of Haider al-Abady…We've seen a coalition come into existence in the intervening months between those days and today, a coalition that has worked very hard to stem the flow of foreign fighters.” -- TheHill, Sep 13, 2015
Is Syria like Afghanistan, years ago?
[It's starting to look] like Afghanistan 1979–88, that is, a war in which the United States backs an Islamist-dominated insurgency against a Russian-backed regime. Of course, the United States is already involved. The CIA is training Syrian rebels in Jordan, and it is coordinating the flow of arms to the rebel fighters from their anti-democratic, kleptocratic backers in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who see the battle in Syria in part as a Sunni-led jihad against an apostate, quasi-Shiite government controlled by the Alawites and allied to Iran. -- TheNation
Is the U.S. sucking Russia into another Afghanistan?
Sometimes the US would not authorize an airstrike on a confirmed Islamic State position, sources in the US-led coalition tell Moscow. That raises questions, Russia's FM Lavrov says. “I hope that I won’t fail anyone, saying that some of our colleagues from the coalition states say that they receive information where exactly, on which positions the Islamic State troops are located, but the commander of the coalition [of course, from the US] doesn’t approve the strike.” “I could suspect that apart from the claimed purpose – fighting Islamic State – there is something else [as the aim] of the coalition, ” he added. Lavrov said that Russia will assist Syrian government in the way it assists the governments of all countries, including the Iraqis, which face the threat of terrorism. Such help includes weapons deliveries as well as assistance of Russian specialists who help to set equipment and teach Syrian troops how to handle such equipment. --RT
Does this sound familiar, substituting Syria for Afghanistan?
The CIA's Intervention in Afghanistan
Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski,
President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser
Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998
Posted at globalresearch.ca 15 October 2001
Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?
B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
ISIS bombing effects, July 2014 - August 2015, from The Atlantic -- see ISIS grow!
...Obama said in his speech that the United States had already conducted 150 successful airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq. A year later, the United States military and its allies have conducted 6,700 airstrikes across Iraq and Syria, sent more than 3,000 U.S. troops to Iraq, and trained thousands more Iraqi troops as well as a handful of Syrian fighters. Here’s one critical indicator of how that campaign, Operation Inherent Resolve, is progressing: a look at how ISIS territory has changed in the year since the U.S.-led military campaign began. -- TheAtlantic
This is the idea -- Intelligence chief: Iraq and Syria may not survive as states
Iraq and Syria may have been permanently torn asunder by war and sectarian tensions, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency said Thursday in a frank assessment that is at odds with Obama administration policy. "I'm having a tough time seeing it come back together," Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart told an industry conference, speaking of Iraq and Syria, both of which have seen large chunks territory seized by the Islamic State. On Iraq, Stewart said he is "wrestling with the idea that the Kurds will come back to a central government of Iraq," suggesting he believed it was unlikely. On Syria, he added: "I can see a time in the future where Syria is fractured into two or three parts." CIA Director John Brennan, speaking on the same panel at an industry conference, noted that the countries' borders remain in place, but the governments have lost control of them. A self-declared caliphate by the Islamic State straddles the border between both countries. Iraqis and Syrians now more often identify themselves by tribe or religious sect, rather than by their nationality, he said. "I think the Middle East is going to be seeing change over the coming decade or two that is going to make it look unlike it did," Brennan said.-- AP
Messin' with the intellgence to favor ISIS -- " reports on ISIS and the Nusra Front in Syria were inappropriately altered by senior officials"
Dozens of intelligence analysts working at the U.S. military's Central Command (CENTCOM) have complained that their reports on ISIS and the Nusra Front in Syria were inappropriately altered by senior officials, according to a published report. The Daily Beast reported late Wednesday that more than 50 analysts had supported a complaint to the Pentagon that the reports had been changed to make the terror groups seem weaker than the analysts believe they really are. Fox News confirmed last month that the Defense Department's inspector general was investigating the initial complaint, which the New York Times reported was made by a civilian employee of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). -- FoxNews
Turkish troops cross into Iraq to attack Kurdish rebels
A Turkish official says Turkish ground forces have crossed into northern Iraq for a “short-term” operation in pursuit of Kurdish rebels, the Associated Press writes.-- AP
comment on "Turkish troops..." --
Isn't this an interesting Associated Press story, from a land with no press freedom. Somebody supposedly planted a road bomb in Igdir, a northeastern Turkish province bordering on Armenia, and two days later two Turkish army battalions with full kit and logistical support invaded Iraq's Dahuk province, over a hundred miles (130km) to the south of Igdir. Reportedly the Turkish air force flew 53 sorties in the same area, also against PKK rebels. (But Turkey is a land with no free press.)The PKK rebels is the principal fighting force against ISIS in both Syria and Iraq. Turkey supports ISIS. Dahuk, Iraq, is a small province just north of Mosul, a major city occupied by ISIS. Last February, the Pentagon was trumpeting plans to knock ISIS out of Mosul, its most important stronghold in Iraq. It's been put on hold, and these Turkish attacks on PKK will delay action further, which is why they did it.
Meanwhile, the effort in Iraq has stalled
The battle to retake Ramadi is going nowhere -- U.S.-backed Iraqi forces are struggling to make headway in their battle to retake the western city of Ramadi, highlighting shortcomings in Washington’s strategy to counter Islamic State militants. Three months after the city’s fall to the Sunni extremist group, Iraqi forces have not yet surrounded the city 80 miles west of Baghdad, commanders say, the first stated aim of the counteroffensive. The stuttering pace of the operation is likely to dent the image of the United States in Iraq, even as it spends $1.6 billion on training and equipping Iraqi forces. -- WaPo, Sep 6, 2015
THIS IS IMPORTANT--
US ally Turkey, probably with US targeting assistance, is destroying the principal anti-ISIS ground force in Iraq with US F-16s
More than 260 suspected PKK militants have been killed since the Turkish Armed Forces launched its operations in and outside Turkey on July 24, security sources said Friday.
According to the sources, around 400 suspected PKK militants were also injured, including Nurettin Demirtas, the brother of pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) co-chair Selahattin Demirtas. Moreover, Turkish Air Forces conducted an operation with 28 F-16 jets on Friday noon that lasted until midnight, the sources added. The operation was named “Martyr Corporal Hamza Yildirim”, who was killed in an attack in Turkey’s southeastern province of Sirnak. More than 65 targets were destroyed, including suspected shelters, equipment storages, ammunition dumps as well as caves.
Also details of another airstrike operation “Martyr Lieutenant Ibrahim Tanriverdi” -- named after another Turkish soldier who was killed in Sirnak -- was released. According to the sources, more than 80 jets hit more than 100 targets in the operation in and outside Turkey belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) Thursday. In the operation, 35 shelters, 15 caves, four underground caves, two underground ammunition stores, two equipment storages, and gun emplacements were destroyed. -- aa.com, Aug 1, 2015
AND THIS --
Iraq tells Turkey to coordinate its strikes on PKK -- alArabiya, Sep 13
Iraq’s foreign minister has called on Ankara to coordinate with Baghdad in its military campaign against Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) positions in northern Iraq following accusations that Turkish forces crossed the border into Iraq last week. Iraq has been mostly silent about Turkish airstrikes against the Kurdish militants which began in July and have focused mainly on targets in the mountainous area of northern Iraq near the borders with Turkey and Iran.
General Petraeus has returned, via his confederate Michael E. O'Hanlon, with an idea to break up Syria
The new approach would seek to break the problem down in a number of localized components of the country, pursuing regional stopgap solutions while envisioning ultimately a more confederal Syria made up of autonomous zones rather than being ruled by a strong central government. It also proposes a path to an intensified train and equip program. Once that program had generated a critical mass of fighters in training locations abroad, it would move to a next stage. Coupled with a U.S. willingness, in collaboration with regional partners, to help defend local safe areas using American airpower as well as special forces support once circumstances are conducive, the Syrian opposition fighters would then establish safe zones in Syria that they would seek to expand and solidify. The safe zones would also be used to accelerate recruiting and training of additional opposition fighters who could live in, and help protect, their communities while going through basic training. They would, in addition, be locations where humanitarian relief could be provided to needy populations, and local governance structures developed. -- Brookings, Jun 23, 2015
The U.S. has made a show of a tiny anti-ISIS force designed to fail
In an acknowledgment of severe shortcomings in its effort to create a force of moderate rebels to battle the Islamic State in Syria, the Pentagon is drawing up plans to significantly revamp the program by dropping larger numbers of fighters into safer zones as well as providing better intelligence and improving their combat skills. The proposed changes come after a Syrian affiliate of Al Qaeda attacked, in late July, many of the first 54 Syrian graduates of the military’s training program and the rebel unit they came from. A day before the attack, two leaders of the American-backed group and several of its fighters were captured. The encounter revealed several glaring deficiencies in the program, according to classified assessments: The rebels were ill-prepared for an enemy attack and were sent back into Syria in too small numbers. They had no local support from the population and had poor intelligence about their foes. They returned to Syria during the Eid holiday, and many were allowed to go on leave to visit relatives, some in refugee camps in Turkey — and these movements likely tipped off adversaries to their mission. -- NYTimes Sep 26, 2015
Confirming that ISIS is being supplied from Turkey:
...The same day the raids were launched, the daily Bugun claimed to have documented weapons-related supplies being transferred from Turkey to IS in Syria. The grave banner headline read, “War supplies for [IS] at Akcakale," and was followed by two full pages of "shocking" color photos. Akcakale is on the Turkish side of the border across from Tell Abyad in Syria. Tell Abyad, which had been under IS control, was captured in June by the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party, with the help of the air force coalition. Thus, the Kurdish cantons of Kobani and Jazeera along the Turkish border were connected. Bugun's revelation continued: “For two months, every single day two semitrailer loads of fertilizer used in production of explosives, one semi load of metal sheeting and one truckload of electronic supplies and cables were transferred to IS-controlled areas of Syria. Moreover, every other day, one truckload of barrels filled with explosives and crates of fuses were moved. Bugun's report said the shipments, made in front of the local customs director and his staff, also included metal piping often used in the production of mortar tubes. In the photographs, obviously taken from a building overlooking the crossing, one can see the barrels said to contain explosives, sacks of fertilizer to be used in explosive production, metal piping and sheets to use for weapons and armor manufacturing, and workers pushing the trailers loaded with them.-- al-monitor
The Pentagon apparently suspects that attacking ISIS from Turkey might anger some Turks.
The Pentagon announced Thursday it has authorized and will pay for the voluntary departure of family members of U.S. personnel stationed in Turkey, out of an "abundance of caution" for their safety."The families of U.S. personnel posted to Consulate Adana or Incirlik Air Base would have the option to depart Turkey at government expense. Those family members who wish to remain in Turkey are free to do so at this time," Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook told reporters. Cook said the decision was made out of an abundance of caution following the beginning of U.S. airstrike operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) last month out of Incirlik Air Base. --TheHill, Sep 3, 2015 -- update: And now the Pentagon has ceased movement of family members to Incirlik.
While the US, and especially its ally Turkey, aid ISIS, a US teenager will do some serious time for it
A Virginia teenager behind a powerful pro-extremist Twitter account who helped a friend travel to Syria to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was sentenced to 11 years in prison on Friday. Prosecutors framed the sentencing against 17-year-old Ali Shukri Amin as a demonstration of the federal government’s efforts to aggressively confront efforts by ISIS to spread its reach and recruit new members on social media, which officials say can fuel domestic extremism in the U.S. Amin confessed earlier this summer to running the @Amreekiwitness Twitter account, which at its peak had more than 4,000 followers and routinely offered up propaganda in support of ISIS. The account also instructed people how to use the virtual currency bitcoin to covertly fund ISIS. Additionally, Amin admitted to having arranged for an ISIS supporter to travel to Syria to join the group's ranks. That supporter has since been arrested and charged with conspiring to provide material support to terrorism. -- TheHill
The juvenile should have had a better lawyer. Remember this? The UK gets caught supporting radicals, drops case
Terror trial collapses after fears of deep embarrassment to security services -- Swedish national Bherlin Gildo’s lawyers argued British intelligence agencies were supporting the same Syrian opposition groups as he was -- The prosecution of a Swedish national accused of terrorist activities in Syria has collapsed at the Old Bailey after it became clear Britain’s security and intelligence agencies would have been deeply embarrassed had a trial gone ahead, the Guardian can reveal. His lawyers argued that British intelligence agencies were supporting the same Syrian opposition groups as he was, and were party to a secret operation providing weapons and non-lethal help to the groups, including the Free Syrian Army. Bherlin Gildo, 37, who was arrested last October on his way from Copenhagen to Manila, was accused of attending a terrorist training camp and receiving weapons training between 31 August 2012 and 1 March 2013 as well as possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist. Riel Karmy-Jones, for the crown, told the court on Monday that after reviewing the evidence it was decided there was no longer a reasonable prospect of a prosecution. “Many matters were raised we did not know at the outset,” she told the recorder of London, Nicholas Hilliard QC, who lifted all reporting restrictions and entered not guilty verdicts. -- TheGuardian, Jun 1, 2015
Spies: Obama’s Brass Pressured Us to Downplay ISIS Threat
Senior military and intelligence officials have inappropriately pressured U.S. terrorism analysts to alter their assessments about the strength of the self-proclaimed Islamic State, three sources familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast. Analysts have been pushed to portray the group as weaker than the analysts believe it actually is, according to these sources, and to paint an overly rosy picture about how well the U.S.-led effort to defeat the group is going. Reports that have been deemed too pessimistic about the efficacy of the American-led campaign, or that have questioned whether a U.S.-trained Iraqi military can ultimately defeat ISIS, have been sent back down through the chain of command or haven’t been shared with senior policymakers, several analysts alleged. -- DailyBeast
Sibel Edmonds: ISIS Is US
Whoopee -- U.S. Jets to Use Turkish Bases in War on ISIS
Obama administration officials, who have been negotiating with Turkey for months, said Thursday that they had reached an agreement for manned and unmanned American warplanes to carry out aerial attacks on Islamic State positions from air bases at Incirlik and Diyarbakir. The agreement was described by one senior administration official as a “game changer.” The agreement was sealed on Wednesday with a phone call between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and President Obama, another administration official said.-- NYTimes
The US strategy is working -- 83% of Syria No Longer Under Control of Government – Report
83 percent; that’s how much territory the Syrian government has lost control of since the country’s civil war began more than four years ago, according to a new analysis by HIS Janes’s. Territory fully controlled by President Assad’s forces has shrunk by 18% between 1 January and 10 August 2015 to 29,797 square kilometers, roughly a sixth of the country, according to latest data produced by HIS Conflict Monitor.
On military manpower, the report says that the Syrian Army is believed to have lost around 50% of its prewar strength of 300,000, with manpower shortages creating a serious challenge to the government’s war effort. Many of the remaining soldiers are very young Alawi conscripts, sent to the front lines with minimal training and low morale. (HIS Jan’s, 23 August) Under the circumstances, major military operations are apparently being led by the Quds Force-backed foreign Shia militias, especially the Lebanese Hezbollah, with the Syrian army on support role.
Map credit: The Syrian government lost 18% of territory since the beginning of this year. (HIS Conflict Monitor/HIS Jane’s)
Touting progress, Barack Obama says Islamic State is losing ground
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama portrayed the U.S.-led coalition Monday as gaining ground against the Islamic State amid an expanded U.S. effort and ample signs of progress, but conceded more difficulties ahead in fighting what he described as a nimble and opportunistic enemy.-- GlobalNews
But are intelligence assessments falsified?
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon’s inspector general is investigating allegations that military officials have skewed intelligence assessments about the United States-led campaign in Iraq against the Islamic State to provide a more optimistic account of progress, according to several officials familiar with the inquiry. The investigation began after at least one civilian Defense Intelligence Agency analyst told the authorities that he had evidence that officials at United States Central Command — the military headquarters overseeing the American bombing campaign and other efforts against the Islamic State — were improperly reworking the conclusions of intelligence assessments prepared for policy makers, including President Obama, the government officials said. -- NYTimes
The US training of "moderates" hasn't gone well, thanks to Turkey
The kidnapping of a group of U.S.-trained moderate Syrians moments after they entered Syria last month to confront the Islamic State was orchestrated by Turkish intelligence, multiple rebel sources have told McClatchy.The rebels say that the tipoff to al Qaida’s Nusra Front enabled Nusra to snatch many of the 54 graduates of the $500 million program on July 29 as soon as they entered Syria, dealing a humiliating blow to the Obama administration’s plans for confronting the Islamic State.
Rebels familiar with the events said they believe the arrival plans were leaked because Turkish officials were worried that while the group’s intended target was the Islamic State, the U.S.-trained Syrians would form a vanguard for attacking Islamist fighters that Turkey is close to, including Nusra and another major Islamist force, Ahrar al Sham.-- McClatchy
The ineffective air strikes will continue, with no stoppage of ISIS supplies and personnel coming from Turkey
WASHINGTON — The US and Turkey have reached an agreement to incorporate Turkish forces in anti-ISIL airstrikes, the Pentagon announced Tuesday. However, the agreement does not cover increased Turkish security along its border with Syria, a major issue identified by US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter last week.-- DefenseNews, Aug 25, 2015
US SecDef Carter wants Turkey to "control the border," and the Pentagon is in "active discussions" with them.
“We need them — also, as a neighbor to this conflict zone, as longtime NATO ally and a responsible member of the anti-ISIL coalition — to control the border, the long border that they have with both Syria and Iraq, more than it has been controlled over the last year,” Carter said. “It is a border over which logistics for ISIL and fighters cross, and so we’re looking for them to do more in that regard as well, and we’re in active discussions with them in that regard.” --DefenseNews
The US now has a few planes stationed in Turkey, for a price.
The U.S. deployed six F-16s and roughly 300 airmen from the 31st Fighter Wing to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, to support operations against the Islamic State. The small detachment of F-16s arrived at Incirlik on Sunday from Aviano Air Base, Italy. -- AFTimes
The US got this permission from US ally and NATO member Turkey in exchange for not complaining about Turkey bombing the Kurds in Syria and Iraq. The Kurds have been effective against ISIS, so the US is trading ineffective airpower for reduced ground power, thus helping ISIS. -- BBC
Q: Where does ISIS get its supplies? -- A:From US ally and NATO member Turkey.
While many across the West play willfully ignorant as to where ISIS truly gets their supplies from in order to maintain its impressive fighting capacity, some journalists have traveled to the region and have video taped and reported on the endless convoys of trucks supplying the terrorist army.
Were these trucks traveling to and from factories in seized ISIS territory deep within Syrian and Iraqi territory? No. They were traveling from deep within Turkey, crossing the Syrian border with absolute impunity, and headed on their way with the implicit protection of nearby Turkish military forces. Attempts by Syria to attack these convoys and the terrorists flowing in with them have been met by Turkish air defenses.
Germany’s international broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) published the first video report from a major Western media outlet illustrating that ISIS is supplied not by “black market oil” or “hostage ransoms” but billions of dollars worth of supplies carried into Syria across NATO member Turkey’s borders via hundreds of trucks a day. The report titled, “‘IS’ supply channels through Turkey,” confirms what has been reported by geopolitical analysts since at least as early as 2011 – that ISIS subsides on immense, multi-national state sponsorship, including, obviously, Turkey itself.-- NEO
The US support for what became ISIS was a willful decision according to Michael T Flynn, former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency.
An interview with retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), given to Al Jazeera’s Mehdi Hasan, confirms earlier suspicions that Washington was monitoring jihadist groups emerging as opposition in Syria. General Flynn dismissed Al Jazeera’s supposition that the US administration “turned a blind eye” to the DIA’s analysis. Flynn believes the US government didn’t listen to his agency on purpose. “I think it was a decision. I think it was a willful decision,” the former DIA chief said.-- RT
President Obama has seen the problem and he is going to do something about it. (heh)
PRESIDENT OBAMA: "This broader challenge of countering violent extremism is not simply a military effort. Ideologies are not defeated with guns, they are defeated by better ideas and more attractive and more compelling vision. So the United States will continue to do our part by continuing to counter ISIL's hateful propaganda, especially online. We'll constantly reaffirm through words and deeds that we will never be at war with Islam. We are fighting terrorists who distort islam and its victims are mostly Muslims. We're also going to partner with Muslim communities as they seek the prosperity and dignity they observe. And we're going to expect those communities to step up in terms of pushing back as hard as they can in conjunction with other people of good will against these hateful ideologies, particularly when it comes to what we're teaching young people." --RealClearPolitics
The Pentagon is going all-out to train an army. (heh)
Washington (AFP), Jul 7 2015 - Only about 60 Syrian rebels are being trained by the United States to take on the Islamic State group, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said, admitting it was far below the number hoped for. [ISIS strength is unknown but esimated at 20,000 plus]
Turkey, a US NATO ally which has been supporting iSIS, is massing troops and equipment on the border to deal with Kurdish successes according to Today'sZaman:
Jolted by increasing military mobility and the deployment of additional tank units and troops across the border, [activist and writer Tatyos] Bebek said the intellectuals strongly and clearly oppose Turkey's incursion into Syria. "Disguised as dealing with ISIL, the plan for military intervention will in reality, if it happens, probably target the cantonal system founded by [the Syrian] Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Rojava. This kind of military operation will reverse the gains of past two years during the peace process and the state will once again have declared a war against the Kurdish people," Bebek said.
ISIS headquarters in Raqqa, Syria has been untouched by the US and its allies for a year. On July 5, 2015 Fox News reported that "U.S.-led coalition forces conducted 16 airstrikes Saturday and early Sunday against key ISIS buildings and transit routes in the terror group’s stronghold of Raqqa, Syria, a U.S. Army official said" ....BUT the Pentagon report was much less: "Near Ar Raqqah, 18 airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying three ISIL vehicles and 16 ISIL bridges."
Wow, three less vehicles and 16 fewer bridges near Raqqa -- maybe. This is nothing, just the way the US wants it.
One plan would be for the US, after ISIS is established, to use Sunni military agents to overthrow the ISIS chief al-Baghadi to enhance US control.
--It didn't work.
London: Thirteen top ISIS leaders, including five high-ranking military commanders, have been executed on the orders of the group's chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi after a failed coup attempt to topple him, a media report has said. "For the first time there has been an attempt to depose Abu Bakr al-Baghadi," London-based Arabic language Alaraby Aljadeed newspaper reported, quoting Syrian and Iraqi sources. It said that ISIS has foiled a serious coup attempt aimed at deposing Mr Baghdadi and executed 13 prominent commanders, including five high-ranking military commanders, for their role in the conspiracy.
The US is (supposedly) stymied by ISIS. The U.S. goal, with the finest military in the world costing about $600 billion annually, is to train and equip 5,400 rebels per year for three years. Three years! Asked about the slow pace of the program, do-nothing Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a Pentagon news conference that he is hopeful that it can be accelerated. He gave no indication that major changes are in the offing. --alarabiya, Jul 2, 2015
In an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, David Cameron says Britain will remain a target until Islamic State is beaten. He says Isis poses an existential threat to the British way of life and that Britain cannot 'hide from this threat' -- TheGuardian
Q: Considering that it will take at least three years to destroy the ISIS existential threat, how much area does it actually control?
A: Not much. -- (But not much is apparently too much. Actually the anti-ISIS effort is weak by design, with the US promoting the expansion of ISIS.)
The top do-nothing US general Martin Dempsey after a year of losses to ISIS has a new "scaffolding" strategy: “We’re trying to build a framework -- a scaffolding -- to address this problem trans-regionally in an enduring way so … their defeat lasts, which means there are other lines of effort that have to move along with the military line,” he said. [scaffolding--a temporary structure on the outside of a building]
Telegraph - US blocks attempts by Arab allies to fly heavy weapons directly to Kurds to fight Islamic State - Middle East allies accuse Barack Obama and David Cameron of failing to show strategic leadership in fight against Isil, as MPs could be given vote on whether to bomb Syria.
AP headline -- this could change everything: Kurdish fighters are closing in on an ISIS-held Syrian town, a major ISIS supply terminal, on the Turkish border. The Kurds surround Tal Abyad from the east, west and south. The Turkish border -- and the soldiers there -- now hem the extremists in from the north. This is a major ISIS supply line. ISIS could bring in fighters and supplies across the border to the west in Syria's Aleppo province, where they still hold ground. However, that would be an indirect route that could expose them to other fighting.
How will Turkey and others react?
The Kurds have been a threat to Turkey. Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: "This does not bode well. There is an aura that Arabs and Turkmens are being targeted. There are 15,000 Arabs and Turkmens who have fled the region and crossed to Turkey. The PYD and PKK are being placed in the evacuated region. This leads to a structure that poses a threat to our borders." -- DailySabah
and rebels (green) are nipping off that central ISIS (grey) trunk at Tal Abyad,
on the border some 50 miles north of the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa (large black dot in center).
The view of Tal Abyad from the Turkish side of the border (AP)
There is a possibility that what the US instigated in Samarra on Feb 22, 2006 (see below history) could result in an all-out religious war, according to this article in McClatchy. That would suit the US divide-and-conquer, with military sales promotion, just fine:
“The conditions are very much like 1914,” says Michael Stephens of the Royal United Service Institute in London. “All it will take is one little spark, and Iran and Saudi Arabia will go at each other, believing they are fighting a defensive war.”Hiwa Osman, an Iraqi Kurdish commentator, was even more blunt: “The whole region is braced for the big war, the war that has not yet happened, the Shiite-Sunni war.”
Now the truth emerges: how the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq -- Guardian
The war on terror, that campaign without end launched 14 years ago by George Bush, is tying itself up in ever more grotesque contortions. On Monday the trial in London of a Swedish man, Bherlin Gildo, accused of terrorism in Syria, collapsed after it became clear British intelligence had been arming the same rebel groups the defendant was charged with supporting. . . .What’s clear is that Isis and its monstrosities won’t be defeated by the same powers that brought it to Iraq and Syria in the first place, or whose open and covert war-making has fostered it in the years since. Endless western military interventions in the Middle East have brought only destruction and division. It’s the people of the region who can cure this disease – not those who incubated the virus.
Obama shuns Iraq PM al-Abadi in Germany
Is the US bombing anti-ISIS militias? --LongWarJournal (Hint: ISIS has no air force)
The leader of a powerful Iraqi Shiite militia that is operating against the Islamic State has threatened to attack the US after members of allied militia were killed in a blast in Anbar province over the weekend. Shiite militias have claimed that the US killed the militiamen in an airstrike, but US officials denied that aircraft were operating in the area when the blast took place. Akram Abbas al Kabi, the “secretary general” of the Harakat Nujaba, an Iranian-backed Shiite militia, blamed the US for a an explosion near Abu Ghraib last weekend that purportedly killed 10 members of the League of the Righteous, or Asaib al Haq. Some Iraqis have claimed that the US executed an airstrike that killed the militiamen.
The US has a Strategic Framework Agreement with Iraq, Nov 26, 2007 (excerpt)
Third: The Security Sphere
1. Providing security assurances and commitments to the Republic of Iraq to deter foreign aggression against Iraq that violates its sovereignty and integrity of its territories, waters, or airspace.
2. Supporting the Republic of Iraq in its efforts to combat all terrorist groups, at the forefront of which is Al-Qaeda, Saddamists, and all other outlaw groups regardless of affiliation, and destroy their logistical networks and their sources of finance, and defeat and uproot them from Iraq. This support will be provided consistent with mechanisms and arrangements to be established in the bilateral cooperation agreements mentioned herein.
3. Supporting the Republic of Iraq in training, equipping, and arming the Iraqi Security Forces to enable them to protect Iraq and all its peoples, and completing the building of its administrative systems, in accordance with the request of the Iraqi government.
But as of June 8, 2015, the US claims it doesn't have a clue about what to do in Iraq, where for over a year the Islamic militia ISIS has swept through cities, taking control and slaughtering civilians.WashingtonTimes:
President Obama: “One of the areas where we’re going to have to improve is the speed at which we’re training Iraqi forces. Where we’ve trained Iraqi forces directly and equipped them and we have a train-and-assist posture, they operate effectively. Where we haven’t, morale, lack of equipment, etcetra, may undermine the effectiveness of Iraqi security forces. . . .We’re reviewing a range of plans for how we might do that. … When a finalized plan is presented to me by the Pentagon, then I will share it with the American people. We don’t yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis as well."
The US wants foreigners to sacrifice for its goal of dismembering Iraq and Syria. Americans need not apply, because they might come back, as reported by TheHill.
A 24-year-old Texas man who tried to travel to Syria and join Islamic extremists was sentenced to more than six years in prison on Friday. Michael Wolfe pleaded guilty last June to trying to provide material support to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). According to federal charges, he and his wife had met with an undercover FBI agent and talked about how al Qaeda-linked groups were training foreign fighters and “sending those fighters back from Syria to their home countries to conduct terror attacks,” the FBI said. They had also watched a YouTube video about foreign fighters in Syria with the official, according to the government.
Obama administration officials have grown increasingly concerned about the flow of foreign fighters into Syria and Iraq from the U.S. and especially from Europe. Groups like ISIS have been able to successfully disseminate propaganda online, which has contributed to isolated incidents from sympathizers in the U.S. — such as the attempted attack on a “Draw Muhammad” event in Garland, Texas, earlier this year — as well as a recruiting tool for the groups.
Is the US aiding ISIS, and countering Iraq and Iran? The Pentagon reports "Near Fallujah, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL fighting positions" but Iran's FARS reports "The US-led coalition warplanes hit the bases of Iraqi army's Hezbollah battalions in Fallujah in Anbar province, killing 6 soldiers and injuring 8 others." Which one is correct? Look at the results -- ISIS has occupied Fallujah since January 3, 2014 despite reported continual airstrikes -- against whom?
Also, according to FARS, the head of Iraqi Parliament's National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli disclosed that the anti-ISIL coalition's planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces. The US, as in Afghanistan and Libya and elsewhere, has also backed al Qaeda. The US has a huge air base in Qatar, al Qaeda's spiritual headquarters, and backs the al Qaeda agents in Syria, al Nusrah who have been seen with US-supplied antitank TOW missiles. The obvious US goal is to have al Nusrah and ISIS unite, but that hasn't happened yet. Al Nusra's Abu Mohamad al-Golani, in an ABC-au article: Golani said Al Nusra's fight was with Mr Assad and Hezbollah, and he would not use Syria as a launching pad for attacks on the West.
"The instructions that we have are not to use al-Sham as a base to launch attacks on the West or Europe."
The US doesn't like it when Iran counters the US divide-Iraq plan by attacking ISIS --PJMedia
Crocker: Iran Meddling in Iraq ‘About the Worst Thing I Could Imagine’--The former U.S. ambassador to Iraq and Afghanistan warned that Iran’s involvement in Iraq “would be about the worst thing I could imagine, from the point of view of U.S. interest.”
The restrictions on attacking ISIS are US policy according to FoxNews--
U.S. military pilots carrying out the air war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are voicing growing discontent over what they say are heavy-handed rules of engagement hindering them from striking targets. They blame a bureaucracy that does not allow for quick decision-making. One Navy F-18 pilot who has flown missions against ISIS voiced his frustration to Fox News, saying: "There were times I had groups of ISIS fighters in my sights, but couldn't get clearance to engage.”
Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton lays out the real US policy at FoxNews
I think our objective should be a new Sunni state out of the western part of Iraq, the eastern part of Syria run by moderates or at least authoritarians who are not radical Islamists. What's left of the state of Iraq, as of right now, is simply a satellite of the Ayatollahs in Tehran. It's not anything we should try to aid.
Well duh -- that's what VP Biden said back in 2006 (below).
The Air Force can't destroy ISIS headquarters, but it can brag about its destruction prowess elsewhere:
Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, at a June 1 speech in Arlington, Virginia. "The [airmen are] combing through social media and they see some moron standing at this command," Carlisle said at the speech, which was sponsored by the Air Force Association. "And in some social media, open forum, bragging about command and control capabilities for Da'esh, ISIL, And these guys go 'ah, we got an in.' So they do some work, long story short, about 22 hours later through that very building, three JDAMS take that entire building out. Through social media. It was a post on social media. Bombs on target in 22 hours.. ."
Ready for some amusing US excuses from its mouthpiece NYTimes?
Syria as the main headquarters of the Islamic State. But the buildings have gone untouched during the 10-month allied air campaign. And just last week, convoys of heavily armed Islamic State fighters paraded triumphantly through the streets of the provincial capital Ramadi in western Iraq after forcing Iraqi troops to flee. They rolled on unscathed by coalition fighter-bombers. American and allied warplanes are equipped with the most precise aerial arsenal ever fielded.
But American officials say they are not striking significant, and obvious, Islamic State targets out of fear that the attacks will accidentally kill civilians.
Now look again at the photo below of the long ISIS parade into Ramadi -- how many civilians do you see? (And as if the US ever cared about civilian deaths.)
ISIS convoy into Ramadi - where's the US Air Force?
One of the US objectives has been to cut off land transportation networks between Iran and Syria, to prevent military supplied from going to Hezbollah in Lebanon, and now that's been done according to BBC.
Islamic State militants have seized the last Syrian government-controlled border crossing between Syria and Iraq, a Syria monitoring group says. Government forces withdrew from al-Tanf - known as al-Waleed in Iraq - crossing as IS advanced, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said. The loss of al-Tanf to IS follows the group's takeover of the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra on Thursday.Ready for some amusing US excuses from its mouthpiece NYTimes?
Turkey, abutting Syria, is heavily involved in supporting Islamic extremists - Reuters
Testimony from gendarmerie officers in court documents reviewed by Reuters allege that rocket parts, ammunition and semi-finished mortar shells were carried in trucks accompanied by state intelligence agency (MIT) officials more than a year ago to parts of Syria under Islamist control.
Iran believes that the US is supplying ISIS, according to DefenseNews
That Iranian commander, Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, chief of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force, has fully bought into the narrative, the official said. Soleimani, a powerful figure, was deployed by Tehran to help Iraqis coordinate the fight against the Islamic State group.
"I can tell you the Quds force commander believes we are re-supplying Daesh — truly believes it," Brig. Gen. Kurt Crytzer, deputy commander for Special Operations Command Central, told reporters. Daesh is another name for the Islamic State group.
And in Syria, from ReportsFromUnderground
The Obama administration recently approves the shipment of heavy weaponry to the Syrian opposition after long hesitation, the US-led operation rooms in Turkey and Jordan openly encourage working with al-Qaeda to defeat Assad’s army, and the new Saudi King Salman, whose country is the main funder of ISIS, openly has ramped up support to Islamists in Syria, all the while al-Qaeda makes recent gains in the northwest and south, while ISIS makes its gains in the eastern region of Palmyra.
And this just in from LevantReport --
2012 Defense Intelligence Agency document:
West will facilitate rise of Islamic State “in order to isolate the Syrian regime”
Astoundingly, the newly declassified report states that for “THE WEST, GULF COUNTRIES, AND TURKEY [WHO] SUPPORT THE [SYRIAN] OPPOSITION… THERE IS THE POSSIBILITY OF ESTABLISHING A DECLARED OR UNDECLARED SALAFIST PRINCIPALITY IN EASTERN SYRIA (HASAKA AND DER ZOR), AND THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT THE SUPPORTING POWERS TO THE OPPOSITION WANT, IN ORDER TO ISOLATE THE SYRIAN REGIME…”.The DIA report, formerly classified “SECRET//NOFORN” and dated August 12, 2012, was circulated widely among various government agencies, including CENTCOM, the CIA, FBI, DHS, NGA, State Dept., and many others.
Returning to more recent times with updated news, ISIS has taken the Anbar Province capital Ramadi as reported by the Daily Mail:
ISIS militants have held a twisted victory parade after taking the key city of Ramadi in an orgy of violence and beheadings - and the extremists could march on the Iraqi capital Baghdad within the next month.
Why no US air attacks on this open ISIS victory parade? Did they run out of bombs? Or are they complicit. Yes.WashingtonsBlog, Mar 24, 2015
Newly-Declassified U.S. Government Documents: The West Supported the Creation of ISIS
… there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist Principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime ….
In other words, the powers supporting the Syrian opposition – the West, our Gulf allies, and Turkey wanted an Islamic caliphate in order to challenge Syrian president Assad.Sure, top U.S. generals – and vice president Vice President Joe Biden – have said that America’s closest allies support ISIS. And mainstream American media have called for direct support of ISIS. But the declassified DIA documents show that the U.S. and the West supported ISIS at its inception … as a way to isolate the Syrian government.-- WashingtonsBlog, Mar 24, 2015
1. Divide and Conquer
Again, the current "war" against ISIS is all for show because the division of Iraq has been a US objective since the realization (in 2005) that the US stupidly created an Iran ally with its invasion & occupation. The invasion of Iraq proved a pivotal moment in the centuries-old balance of power between the two sects that emerged from a schism in Islam 1,300 years ago. Iraq is the first major Arab country to be run by Shi'ites in more than eight centuries. Obama has even claimed that he wasn't informed by the extensive, expensived US intelligence community that The Caliphate, calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and later called Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), was invading Iraq staring in December 2013. . How could Obama not know that the militant group seized Fallujah, not far from Baghdad, a city the US had conducted several major battles in under the past administration, in January 2014? He didn't know about ISIS until June or July? Poppycock. Of course Obama knew.
Ex-president Nouri Maliki blames Obama for the ISIS advance, according to ForeignPolicy:
The man who was once America’s point man in Iraq blames the United States for abandoning his country in its time of need. In an interview with Foreign Policy, he said that Iraq was “almost under a siege when it came to receiving weapons” during the crucial period last year when the Islamic State was preparing to seize Mosul. “Our plan was to rely on American weapons, but the American side did not provide the necessary arms,” he said. “It was as if they did not realize the level of the threat that the Iraqi government was facing.”
The US (including Obama) has had a strategy of destabilizing and partitioning Iraq particularly after 2005 when the US realized it had mistakenly transformed Iraq into an Iran ally, and that strategy is now being implemented by ISIL. Perhaps the details are a little messy, but it does satisfy a US strategy which is why the US didn't put on a show of countering it until it was forced to "do something" by the beheadings. And it's just that, a show. Obama, October 8 at the Pentagon: “It remains a difficult mission. As I’ve indicated from the start, this is not something that is going to be solved overnight.” And so, "difficult" though it may be, Obama sticks to his anti-Iran strategy.
Any enemy of Iran and its allies -- Syria, Hezbollah and now Iraq -- is a friend of the US. This has been recently evidenced by the US allowance of ISIS to expand into Iraq, until the brouhaha over the Steven Sotloff beheading forced a backlash in Congress which caused Obama to make a big show about fighting ISIL.
The original reasons for invading and occupying Iraq, which were varied and largely concocted, were reconfigured after original plan went awry.
The US "redirection" in Iraq came after the first Iraq elections in 2005. While the 'purple finger' elections were extolled as a wonderful product of Operation Iraq Freedom, democracy which allowed majority (Shiite) rule was not what was planned. So Iraq had to be broken up, as it has been, and cooperating with various Islamic Sunni radicals has not been a problem for the US.
The first plan had called for putting U.S. officials in charge of Iraq under the name of the Office of Reconstruction and Humanitarian Assistance in Iraq led by former U.S. general Jay Garner. The next plan included L. Paul Bremer and his Iraqi Interim Governing Council and then Iraqi Interim Governing Council. All of which was disrupted by mass demonstrations encouraged by Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani who promoted democracy in Iraq -- which hadn't been a US objective.
The colonels Steele, James amd Michael
Colonel James Steele: America's mystery man
Iraq's sectarian war -- watch it on youtube
Colonel Michael D. Steele: Present in Samarra with "The Kill Company"
Colonel Steele commanded the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Rakkasans) from June 2004 through November 2006.
Colonel Steele and his brigade deployed to Iraq the fall of 2005 and conducted operations primarily in Salah ad Din province, where Samarra is located.
So the events of February 22, 2006 (see below), happened on Steele's watch. Coincidence?
from the New Yorker: The colonel, Michael Dane Steele, was a man of daunting physical stature and reputation. Forty-five years old, with an angular face and cropped graying hair, Steele had grown up on a farm near Athens, Georgia. He played college football as a walk-on offensive lineman, at the University of Georgia, and eventually earned an athletic scholarship there, practicing so relentlessly that his coach named an award for perfect attendance after him. (Nobody has since managed to win it.) Within the Army, he was best known for his actions in Somalia, where, in 1993, he commanded a company of Rangers that engaged in a fifteen-hour gunfight in Mogadishu.In 2006, in his new job, Chiarelli had considerable leverage to impose his vision throughout the country.
Three years into the war, the number of American soldiers dying each day showed no signs of diminishing, and Al Qaeda, led in Iraq by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was becoming more active. A number of Army commanders believed that it was the wrong time to shift the focus away from killing, but Chiarelli argued that the Carnivore approach was doing more harm than good.Many of Chiarelli’s ideas were anathema to Steele, who has master’s degrees in administration and strategic studies, and who wanted the Army to demonstrate, above all, that it had a monopoly on power in Iraq. His men razed houses that had been harboring insurgents, and he limited reconstruction projects. Steele’s former deputy commander, Colonel Craig Collier, told me, “Although the general belief is that the more money into the mix the better, we didn’t find that that was the case. Samarra was a perfect example. In February, 2006, after insurgents blew up the al-Askari Mosque, in Samarra, triggering sectarian violence throughout Iraq, Chiarelli came to Samarra and was briefed by Steele’s staff. -- NewYorker
February 22, 2006 -- divide-and-conquer plan implemented
The decisive US divide-and-conquer move was the destruction of the Shiite al-Askari shrine in (Sunni) Samarra on Feb 22, 2006 which caused substantial violence. During its 100-year existence, the Askariya Mosque, housing the 1200-year shrine, was never attacked. The Sunni population of Sammara took particular pride in its care, a symbol of Shia-Sunni brotherhood. Sammara is the site of the disappearance of the 12th and last Imam -- Mohammed al-Mahdi, a descendant of the Prophet Mohammed. It is said he will return to restore justice to the world.
In February 2006 Samarra was under total US military control. The curfew in Samarra started at 8pm. On February 21st, at 8:30pm, according to a witness, joint forces of the Iraq National Guard and the American Army appeared, then left at 9, then reappeared at 11pm. At 6am on the morning of the 22nd the ING left the area, and at 6:30 the Americans left. The first explosion occurred at 6:40, the second at 6:45.am.
Construction Minister Jassem Mohammed Jaafar, who toured Sammara and inspected the damage incurred to the shrine, said the placing of explosives inside the dome was meticulous and must have taken at least 12 hours.”Holes were dug into the mausoleum’s four main pillars and packed with explosives,” he told the media, adding that work on each pillar must have taken at least four hours. The normal security detail of 35 men had been reduced to five, the five guards were taken hostage during the twelve hours, and nobody noticed anything.
Reports later said that the attackers were 10 men dressed in commando outfits and that they had been apprehended. The shrine is meant to be protected by a contingent of 35 Interior Ministry troops because the Mosque is of particular importance to the Shia community.
Questions abound. Why was the security detail reduced from 35 to only five men guarding such an important shrine? If it took at least 12 hours to plant the explosives, why did no one notice that the five police guards had been taken hostage? If it took at least 12 hours to plant the explosives, would that not have meant access to the shrine during evening prayers the night before?
Reacting to this attack, on 22 and 23 February 2006, throughout Iraq, assailants attacked at least 184 Sunni mosques with grenades, small arms, mortars, and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), killing 12 Sunni imams and seven Sunni civilian worshippers, kidnapping 14 Sunni imams, and causing substantial damage to many of the mosques. Subsequently hundreds of Sunni mosques came under attack and a full-fledged civil war was initiated.
The bombing of the Al-Askaria Mosque and its violent aftermath ratcheted the numbers of displaced persons up to a staggering 2.7 million. In a period of about a year, five percent of Iraq's total population fled their homes and settled elsewhere in Iraq while an additional 2 million or so fled the country entirely. It is important to underscore that this displacement was not just a by-product of the conflict, but rather the result of deliberate policies of sectarian cleansing by armed militias.
Hoping to find answers and interview residents of Sammara, the Al-Arabiya news network dispatched three of its journalists, including former Aljazeera reporter Atwar Bahjat, herself a native of the ancient city. Sources in Iraq say she was interviewing residents when a truck full of unknown armed men abducted her as she screamed for help. Bahjat, 30, of mixed Sunni-Shia heritage, was found executed outside Samarra, along with her cameraman and sound technician. Her field equipment and video were missing.
The Sunni cleric Abdul Ghafur al-Samarra'i led a demonstration of Sunnis in Samarra' in protest against the "Excommunicators" for having attempted to set off a sectarian civil war in Iraq by bombing the shrine. They also blamed "the Americans".
A short time later, on May 12, 2006, Senator Biden, a professed Zionist, proposed that Iraq be divided into three separate regions — Kurdish, Shiite and Sunni — with a central government in Baghdad, as reported by nbcnews. Biden video: "If I were a Jew, I would be a Zionist. I am a Zionist. You don't have to be a Jew to be a Zionist."
The militant gains of ISIL in Mosul and other cities of the north and Anbar are the direct result of the removal of the Iraqi security forces commanders and local Sons of Iraq leaders who had turned the tide against al Qaeda in 2007-2008.But also the the basis for the military component of ISIS might be some of the US-sponsored Sunni "Sons of Iraq" of the so-called "Arab Awakening.
In 2005, with the first Iraq election, it became apparent that Baghdad would go Shia and not remain a US vassal state, so among other actions the US promoted and supported an extensive Sunni militia force in Western Iraq, the Sons of Iraq.
Junior officers in US military units, with wads of cash in their pockets, were visiting Sunni militias and disbursing money to them. What they didn't keep for themselves, that is.
In a federal indictment last month, prosecutors alleged that [Captain] Nguyen managed to skim more than $690,000 in cash as the civil affairs officer overseeing millions of dollars intended for reconstruction projects and payments to private Iraqi security forces northeast of Baghdad. The 28-year-old West Point graduate is accused of packing cash into boxes and mailing them to his family's home in Beaverton, Ore.
But as early as 2007, long before the paid-mercenary program ended in 2012, there were signs of trouble.
NYTimes, Dec 23, 2007
In a Force for Iraqi Calm, Seeds of Conflict
The Awakening movement, a predominantly Sunni Arab force recruited to fight Sunni Islamic extremists like Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, has become a great success story after its spread from Sunni tribes in Anbar Province to become an ad-hoc armed force of 65,000 to 80,000 across the country in less than a year. A linchpin of the American strategy to pacify Iraq, the movement has been widely credited with turning around the violence-scarred areas where the Sunni insurgency has been based.
How, when thousands are joining each month, can spies and extremists be reliably weeded out? How can the men’s loyalty be maintained, given their tribal and sectarian ties, and in many cases their insurgent pasts? And crucially, how can the movement be sustained once the Americans turn over control to a Shiite-dominated government that has been wary, and sometimes hostile, toward the groups?
Despite the successes of the movement, including the members’ ability to provide valuable intelligence and give rebuilding efforts a new chance in war-shattered communities, the American military acknowledges that it is also a high-risk proposition. It is an experiment in counterinsurgency warfare that could contain the seeds of a civil war — in which, if the worst fears come true, the United States would have helped organize some of the Sunni forces arrayed against the central government on which so many American lives and dollars have been spent.
July 10, 2006 -- a new Middle East
Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters, US Army, published the book, Never Quit the Fight, which was released to the public on July 10, 2006. This map of the “New Middle East” was a key element in Peters' book.
International borders are never completely just. But the degree of injustice they inflict upon those whom frontiers force together or separate makes an enormous difference — often the difference between freedom and oppression, tolerance and atrocity, the rule of law and terrorism, or even peace and war.The most arbitrary and distorted borders in the world are in Africa and the Middle East. Drawn by self-interested Europeans (who have had sufficient trouble defining their own frontiers), Africa’s borders continue to provoke the deaths of millions of local inhabitants. But the unjust borders in the Middle East — to borrow from Churchill — generate more trouble than can be consumed locally. While the Middle East has far more problems than dysfunctional borders alone — from cultural stagnation through scandalous inequality to deadly religious extremism — the greatest taboo in striving to understand the region’s comprehensive failure isn’t Islam, but the awful-but-sacrosanct international boundaries worshipped by our own diplomats. -- GlobalResearch
This takes us back to....
2. The Yinon Plan
The Israeli Yinon Plan is described here. --portions:
Lebanon's total dissolution into five provinces serves as a precendent for the entire Arab world including Egypt, Syria, Iraq and the Arabian peninsula and is already following that track. The dissolution of Syria and Iraq later on into ethnically or religiously unqiue areas such as in Lebanon, is Israel's primary target on the Eastern front in the long run, while the dissolution of the military power of those states serves as the primary short term target. Syria will fall apart, in accordance with its ethnic and religious structure, into several states such as in present day Lebanon, so that there will be a Shi'ite Alawi state along its coast, a Sunni state in the Aleppo area, another Sunni state in Damascus hostile to its northern neighbor, and the Druzes who will set up a state, maybe even in our Golan, and certainly in the Hauran and in northern Jordan. This state of affairs will be the guarantee for peace and security in the area in the long run, and that aim is already within our reach today.
Iraq, rich in oil on the one hand and internally torn on the other, is guaranteed as a candidate for Israel's targets. Its dissolution is even more important for us than that of Syria.
The entire Arabian peninsula is a natural candidate for dissolution due to internal and external pressures, and the matter is inevitable especially in Saudi Arabia. Regardless of whether its economic might based on oil remains intact or whether it is diminished in the long run, the internal rifts and breakdowns are a clear and natural development in light of the present political structure.
The idea for the division of Iraq can be said to derive from the Yinon Plan. --fromThe Daily Star:
The present ISIS lightning war in Iraq is the creation of an illusion to initiate the fulfillment of a pre-planned agenda of the West in close alliance with Israel to redraw the map of the entire region as the “New Middle East.” This is the Yinon Plan at work, which aims at the balkanisation of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region into smaller and weaker entities or states in order to ensure the dominant position of Israel in the region and the control of its oil, gas and water resources by the US-Israel nexus. In the process of balkanisation, the facets of ethnicity, religion and race from within the region are engaged for destruction, causing alarm for the UN and international military intervention to “protect innocent civilians,” thus paving the way for the ultimate achievement of the designed goals of creating the “New Middle East.”
On March 5, 2007, Seymour Hersh wrote The Redirection:
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran.
The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
This "redirection" came in 2006-2007 as a follow-on to the initial Samarra US divide-and-conquer effort, and the people who would do it spawned their effor in a US-run prison which held tens of thousands of Iraqis. The prison was Camp Bucca, which has been described in a CBS article as "a pressure cooker for extremism." It was at Bucca that an unexpected and powerful alliance was formed between Islamic extremists and the Ba'athists loyal to Saddam Hussein, who were angry at losing power.
3. Then came the Caliphate and ISIS
The goal of the ISIS project is the creation of a “New Middle East” with Israel as the regional power in control of the region's oil, gas and water resources. What is the origin of ISIS? from The Hill:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said Sunday that the Sunni militants taking over Iraq have quickly gained power because the United States has armed their group in Syria. “I think we have to understand first how we got here,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “We have been arming [the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria] ISIS in Syria.” ISIS, an al Qaeda offshoot, has been collaborating with the Syrian rebels whom the Obama administration has been arming in their efforts to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, Paul explained.
ISIS includes highly experienced paramilitaries, mostly Iraqi, who form the core group around the self-appointed caliph – Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Many of these people faced up to the devastating and uncompromising operations of General Stanley McChrystal’s special forces units that ranged across Iraq seeking out, killing, capturing and “interrogating” suspects. Survivors from that era, now part of IS, are bitter and determined – and they will be extremely difficult to defeat. The Pentagon is only too well aware of this, which does much to explain the rapid expansion in forces now under way, as well as the level of action already undertaken.
The ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi has declared, on June 29, 2014, an Islamic State, a new " Caliphate."
Therefore, the shura (consultation) council of the Islamic State studied this matter after the Islamic State – by Allah’s grace – gained the essentials necessary for khilafah, which the Muslims are sinful for if they do not try to establish. In light of the fact that the Islamic State has no shar’i(legal) constraint or excuse that can justify delaying or neglecting the establishment of the khilafah such that it would not be sinful, the Islamic State – represented by ahlul-halli-al-‘aqd (its people of authority), consisting of its senior figures, leaders, and the shura council – resolved to announce the establishment of the Islamic khilafah, the appointment of a khalifah for the Muslims, and the pledge of allegiance to the shaykh (sheikh), the mujahid, the scholar who practices what he preaches, the worshipper, the leader, the warrior, the reviver, descendent from the family of the Prophet, the slave of Allah, Ibrahim Ibn ‘Awwad Ibn Ibrahim Ibn ‘Ali Ibn Muhammad al-Badrial-Hashimi al-Husayni al-Qurashi by lineage, as-Samurra’i by birth and upbringing, al-Baghdadi by residence and scholarship. And he has accepted the bay’ah (pledge of allegiance). Thus, he is the imam and khalifah for the Muslims everywhere. Accordingly, the “Iraq and Sham” in the name of the Islamic State is henceforth removed from all official deliberations and communications, and the official name is the Islamic State from the date of this declaration.
The US helped form ISIS, beginning in 2004, at its detention Camp Bucca in Iraq. The Guardian:
...The jihadist, who uses the nom de guerre Abu Ahmed, entered Camp Bucca as a young man a decade ago, and is now a senior official within Islamic State (Isis) – having risen through its ranks with many of the men who served time alongside him in prison. Like him, the other detainees had been snatched by US soldiers from Iraq’s towns and cities and flown to a place that had already become infamous: a foreboding desert fortress that would shape the legacy of the US presence in Iraq.
The other prisoners did not take long to warm to him, Abu Ahmed recalled. They had also been terrified of Bucca, but quickly realised that far from their worst fears, the US-run prison provided an extraordinary opportunity. “We could never have all got together like this in Baghdad, or anywhere else,” he told me. “It would have been impossibly dangerous. Here, we were not only safe, but we were only a few hundred metres away from the entire al-Qaida leadership.”
It was at Camp Bucca that Abu Ahmed first met Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the emir of Isis who is now frequently described as the world’s most dangerous terrorist leader. From the beginning, Abu Ahmed said, others in the camp seemed to defer to him. But none of us knew he would ever end up as leader.”
And here in a YahooNews article.
...The group's second-in-command, al-Baghdadi's deputy, is a former Saddam-era army major, Saud Mohsen Hassan, known by the pseudonyms Abu Mutazz and Abu Muslim al-Turkmani, according to the intelligence chief. Hassan also goes by Fadel al-Hayali, a fake name he used before the fall of Saddam, the intelligence chief told The Associated Press. Like others, he spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence. During the 2000s, Hassan was imprisoned in the U.S.-run Bucca prison camp, the main detention center for members of the Sunni insurgency, where al-Baghdadi also was held. The prison was a significant incubator for the Islamic State group, bringing militants like al-Baghdadi into contact with former Saddam officers, including members of special forces, the elite Republican Guard and the paramilitary force called Fedayeen. In Bucca's Ward 6, al-Baghdadi gave sermons and Hassan emerged as an effective organizer, leading strikes by the prisoners to gain concessions from their American jailers, the intelligence chief said. Former Bucca prisoners are now throughout the IS leadership. Among them is Abu Alaa al-Afari, a veteran Iraqi militant who was once with al-Qaida and now serves as the head of IS's "Beit al-Mal," or treasury, according to a chart of what is believed to be the group's hierarchy provided to the AP by the intelligence chief.
So ISIS is a US construct, "a willful decision"
In Al Jazeera’s latest Head to Head episode, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency Michael Flynn confirms to Mehdi Hasan that not only had he studied the DIA memo predicting the West’s backing of an Islamic State in Syria when it came across his desk in 2012, but even asserts that the White House’s sponsoring of radical jihadists (that would emerge as ISIL and Nusra) against the Syrian regime was “a willful decision.”Amazingly, Flynn actually took issue with the way interviewer Mehdi Hasan posed the question – Flynn seemed to want to make it clear that the policies that led to the rise of ISIL were not merely the result of ignorance or looking the other way, but the result of conscious decision making. -- antiwar.com
4. With US support
The US has armed and trained ISIS. Stars and Stripes:
Antitank weapons that appear to be from stocks transferred to moderate Syrian rebels have landed in the hands of Islamic State militants, according to a newly released field investigation conducted in both northern Iraq and Syria.
The Islamic State has also captured "significant quantities" of U.S.-manufactured small arms and has employed them on the battlefield, researchers found.
The investigation, led by a small-arms research organization known as Conflict Armament Research, marks a rare attempt to physically document the weapons being used by the Islamic State, the radical group that has expanded its control in parts of Syria and Iraq.
Senator McCain met with the Islamic fanatics on a visit to Syria.
from Washington Post:
Washington and its allies empowered groups whose members had either begun with anti-American or anti-Western views or found themselves lured to those ideas in the process of fighting. According to interviews with members of militant groups, such as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s Al Nusra Front (which is aligned with al Qaeda), that is exactly what happened with some of the fighters in Libya and even with factions of the Free Syrian Army.
In recent years, President Obama, his European friends, and even some Middle Eastern allies, have supported “rebel groups” in Libya and Syria. Some received training, financial and military support to overthrow Muammar Gadhafi and battle Bashar al Assad. It’s a strategy that follows the old saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” and it has been the American and allied approach for decades in deciding whether to support opposition groups and movements.
FARS reported on Jan 9, 2015:
Report: ISIL Operative Confesses to Receiving Funding through US"During investigations, Yousaf al Salafi revealed that he was getting funding – routed through America – to run the organization in Pakistan and recruit young people to fight in Syria," a source close to the investigations revealed to Urdu-language Daily Express on condition of anonymity, according to its sister English newspaper The Express Tribune. The newspaper also claimed that Al Salafi was in fact arrested last year sometime in December.
Al Salafi also allegedly confessed to recruiting militants to send them to Syria and was receiving about $600 per person. He also admitted that he had been working with a Pakistani accomplice.
"The US has been condemning the IS(IL) activities but unfortunately has not been able to stop funding of these organizations, which is being routed through the US. The US had to dispel the impression that it is financing the group for its own interests and that is why it launched offensive against the organization in Iraq but not in Syria," a source said.
THIS IS IMPORTANT--
And (of course) the US knew about ISIS at least since early 2013 according to FoxNews, June 24 2014:
Earlier Tuesday, in an interview with Fox News, Secretary of State John Kerry said "nobody expected" Iraqi security forces to be decisively driven out by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, as they were earlier this month in Mosul. But in a separate briefing with reporters Tuesday afternoon, the senior intelligence official said the intelligence community had warned about the ISIS threat.
“During the past year, the intelligence community has provided strategic warning of Iraq’s deteriorating security situation," the official said. "We routinely highlighted (ISIS') growing threat in Iraq, the increasing difficulties Iraq’s security forced faced in combating (ISIS), and the political strains that were contributing to Iraq’s declining stability.” Asked who failed to act, the official did not explain.
US government leaders have agreed, in principal, with the US and its allies responsible for ISIS. On October 2, 2014 US Vice President Joe Biden blamed America’s allies in the region – Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates – for allowing the rise of the Islamic State, saying they supported extremists with money and weapons in their eagerness to oust the Assad regime in Syria. “Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria,” he said. He went on to explain that such allies were “so determined to take down Assad,” that in a sense they started a “proxy Sunni-Shia war” by pouring “hundreds of millions of dollars and tens of thousands of tons of weapons” towards anyone who would fight against the Syrian leader. Biden has since officially apologized for the remarks according to RT. Biden is sorry that he told the truth, but he didn't tell the whole truth. Kerry came close to it.
Earlier, according to Hurriyet, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had placed the blame for the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on those who resorted to any means to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, creating what he called a “sloppy process.” “In the very beginning … when the efforts to oust al-Assad took place, there were people who made calculations that the important thing is to remove al-Assad. Yes, there are some bad apples there, but we want to get him out. And that, unfortunately, resulted in funding different groups, and it was, frankly, a sloppy process,” Kerry told CNN International’s Christiane Amanpour during an interview aired on Sept. 24. In fact, Ambassadot Chris Stevens was in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012, far from the nation's capital Tripoli at a time when the new government was being formed. Stevens was there coordinating CIA arms shipments to Turkey for use against Syria. His last official act was a meeting with the Turkish ambassador.
The Syrian ambassador to India, Riad Kamel Abbas, has said: “Al Qaeda appeared in Syria after the US invaded Iraq. Before that there was no al Qaeda in Syria. It is clear that al Qaeda was created by the US and it is supporting ISIS.”
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamanei: “The enemy invests to provoke proxy wars in the region and hopes for wars between Shiites and Sunnis.”
The US may even be supplying ISIS. This unconfirmed report provides specifics:
Iraq Intel Report: US Planes Supplying ISIL with Weapons, Foodstuff -- The Iraqi forces have found out that the US aircraft usually airdrop arms and food cargoes for ISIL militants who collect them on the ground, Asia news agency quoted Iraqi army's intelligence officers as saying. "The Iraqi intelligence sources reiterated that the US military planes have airdropped several aid cargoes for ISIL terrorists to help them resist the siege laid by the Iraqi army, security and popular forces," added the report. On Saturday, Iraqi security sources disclosed that the ISIL terrorist group is using the state-of-the-art weapons which are only manufactured by the US and each of their bullets are worth thousands of dollars. "What is important is that the US sends these weapons to only those that cooperate with the Pentagon and this indicates that the US plays a role in arming the ISIL," an Iraqi security source told FNA.
Sectarian tensions are running high -- even in far-off Australia according to CNN.
Muslim community leaders in Australia say sectarian tensions are soaring, as radicalized Sunni youth, inspired by ISIS, seek to import the religious conflicts wracking the Middle East. "The tensions are very high and will continue to be high," said Jamal Daoud, a Shia community leader in Sydney, where a 47-year old Shia leader was shot in the shoulder early Monday morning, as worshipers observed the Shia ritual of Ashura. The attack was only one incident in a string of attacks and threats against Shia Muslims by Sunni extremists who sympathized with ISIS, he claimed, and had followed an incident where a group of men had driven past the Islamic center, yelling comments such as "IS lives forever" and "Shia dogs" in Arabic.
To promote Iraq's dismemberment, the US left Iraq without an air force. Reuters, Aug 22, 2014: Iraq had only a fledgling air force when the United States withdrew in 2011. Washington has agreed to bolster Iraqi air power by selling Baghdad 36 sophisticated F-16 multi-role jet fighters and 24 Apache helicopters. But lengthy contract negotiations, long manufacturing lead times and slow bureaucracies have taken a toll. The Iraqi planes are just beginning to roll off the production line, four years after Congress was first notified of the planned sale and just as Baghdad is fighting for survival against jihadist militants. As of August, only two of the $65 million Iraqi F-16s had been handed over by Lockheed Martin Corp to the U.S. government and none had reached Iraq. The jets are now held up by payment problems and deteriorating security, which has prevented work needed to prepare Balad air base for the planes.
5. The phony war begins
So ISIS was doing the US's work -- what turned the US against ISIS? The US strategy was working fine to correct a mistake in the first half of this year. Iran's new ally Iraq, created at great expense by the US, was being bifurcated or perhaps entirely taken over by US-aided Iran enemy ISIS. Plus ISIS threatened US enemy Syria. What could go wrong with that?
Then came the fateful limo ride on August 6th, and dumbo changed everything according to Politico.
The ride to the White House allowed Dempsey his first one-on-one with Obama in several weeks. As the two sat across from each other in the presidential limousine, Dempsey turned to his commander-in-chief. “We have a crisis in Iraq, Mr. President. . . ISIS is a real threat.” “It’s that bad?” Obama asked, according to this person’s account. Dempsey was blunt. “Yes, sir,” he said, “it is.”
Then on September 16, 2014 in a White House release:
The President met today at the White House with General John Allen, the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and Ambassador Brett McGurk, Deputy Special Presidential Envoy. The President underscored the importance of maximizing coordination with allies and partners to build a strong coalition with broad international participation. The President stressed that the comprehensive approach to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL requires a wide range of political, diplomatic, military, economic and other efforts.
On October 6, 2014, Charles Krauthammer, a syndicated columnist, said it's possible that Obama is serious about completely destroying the militant group, but he is not optimistic. Krauthammer said that it is not yet clear whether President Obama is serious about confronting the threat from the Islamic State terrorists or if he just wants to "appear" to be doing something, but "everything he's doing now indicates it's the latter."
Here at NBCNews is the evolution of Obama's remarks on ISIS. Remember that ISIS took Mosul, an Iraq city of one million, on June 10 and Obama didn't get motivated until August 6, 2014.
And now, in TIME, Obama opts for a “limited” military campaign against ISIS. Remember I said back at the beginning that the current "war" against ISIS is all for show?
Washington irresolution when it comes to waging war has become so feckless that the White House and Congress now engage in a paper chase that lets lawmakers vote on combat without the political risk that would accompany their declaration of war.Washington irresolution when it comes to waging war has become so feckless that the White House and Congress now engage in a paper chase that lets lawmakers vote on combat without the political risk that would accompany their declaration of war.
That’s why President Obama’s dispatch of his “AUTHORIZATION FOR THE USE OF UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES” is less than the capital letters might suggest. In fact, the draft makes clear that he is only seeking “the limited use of the United States Armed Forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”
The Iraqi prime minister has complained about the US limits on aid to his country. The Washington Times, Jan 21, 2015:
Iraq’s prime minister complained Monday that the international community has left his nation largely in the lurch against the extremist Islamic State movement, even as U.S. and European officials scrambled to revamp their strategy for countering Mideast-based jihadis following this month’s Paris terrorist attacks. “We are in this almost on our own,” Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi said of the war with the group also known as ISIS and ISIL. “There is a lot being said and spoken, but very little on the ground.” Secretary of State John F. Kerry, meanwhile, called for patience Wednesday in the overall fight against Islamic extremists and insisted that international efforts are gaining steam.
US Senator Orrin Hatch doesn't think much of it.
"And here we have the president coming up with this — I think it's utterly stupid — proposal," Hatch told KSL News Radio. "And he's binding the next president also with really stupid language. Any president worth his or her salt is going to ask for as much authority as they can get, so at least the ISIS people know that he has the authority to come in on them anyway he wants to. Why would we not only unilaterally impose limitations as to which types of tools and tactics our service members can use then also broadcast these limitations to the enemy? If we're telling the Islamic State upfront that we will not using ground forces, will they not tailor their strategy around that fact? Tell me!”
Iran's leader gets it. (Reuters, Oct 13, 2014) - Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, on Monday blamed the United States and the "wicked" British government for creating the Islamic State. "America, Zionism, and especially the veteran expert of spreading divisions - the wicked government of Britain - have sharply increased their efforts of creating divisions between the Sunnis and Shi'ites," he said, according to his website, in a speech marking a Shi'ite Muslim religious holiday.
Q: ISIS grew out of al-Nusrah, is it supported by the US?
A: Yes, the US supports the safe haven of al-Nusrah in Qatar, its chief financial supporter also.
It's true: Washington Post--
The U.S. military orchestrates the air war over Iraq and Syria from a hulking command center on the vast al-Udeid Air Base, a Qatari-owned encampment that is home to 8,000 American military personnel and dozens of Air Force jets. Giant video screens inside the windowless, two-story structure allow troops to track every plane and observe live footage from every drone involved in operations against the Islamic State. Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar has been a major resource in supporting the air war on Afghanistan, and now the air war on ISIS including surveillance, electronic attack and bombing. The US Air Force’s Combined Air and Space Operations Center (CAOC) is a high-tech facility filled with rows of computer stations, each one with between two and six screens. Think of NASA’s mission control, just with more screens at each station. In the front of the room, four mammoth screens were projected onto the wall.
Al Udeid is also host to a forward headquarters of United States Central Command, headquarters of United States Air Forces Central, No. 83 Expeditionary Air Group RAF, and the 379th Air Expeditionary Wing of the USAF.
Twenty miles to the northeast, in the heart of Doha, an opulent and fast-growing capital city, the even more gargantuan Grand Mosque has served as a key outpost for al-Qaeda-linked rebels fighting the Syrian regime. From a pulpit under ringed chandeliers, several clerics have exhorted the faithful to open their wallets in support of Syrian resistance groups. Some of the clerics have boasted of directing money toward Jabhat al-Nusra, which the U.S. government has classified as a terrorist organization linked to al-Qaeda.
Here is an excellent video summarizing many aspects of the US puppet - ISIS
6. Divide-and-conquer wrap-up
Will the Caliphate survive? We don't know. But even if it doesn't survive, Levant area borders may change. Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, as reported by NPR:
The borders of many Arab states were drawn up by Westerners a century ago, and wars in recent years show that a number of them are doomed to break apart, according to Ya'alon, a career soldier who became Israel's defense minister last year. "We have to distinguish between countries like Egypt, with their history. Egypt will stay Egypt." In contrast, Ya'alon says, "Libya was a new creation, a Western creation as a result of World War I. Syria, Iraq, the same — artificial nation-states — and what we see now is a collapse of this Western idea."
Suggestions of new border alignments are illustrated here and here. (courtesy VoltaireNet)
The term caliphate has been used for Iraq before, about the time of the "redirection" of US government policy and even before. Vice President Dick Cheney was one of the first members of the Bush administration to say it, at a campaign stop in Lake Elmo, Minn., in September 2004. On April 4, 2006 Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld used it in a Radio Interview with Scott Hennen, WDAY Radio, Fargo, N.D.:
... You know if you think about it normally one thinks of a war or a conflict of big armies and navies and air forces competing against each other. That's been the history. But that is something that is not taking place today. Instead we're up against networks of people who operate in the shadows, who don't have nations to defend, who don't have bureaucracies to manage, people who are determined to reestablish a caliphate in this world and to take out moderate governments and to change the lives of free people.
ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, radicalized by the US at Iraq's Camp Bucca, was born in Samarra in 1971. This fact, and the role of the Samarra mosque in this situation, are enough to remember Somerset Maugham 's "The Appointment in Samarra." The speaker is Death.
There was a merchant in Baghdad who sent his servant to market to buy provisions and in a little while the servant came back, white and trembling, and said, Master, just now when I was in the marketplace I was jostled by a woman in the crowd and when I turned I saw it was Death that jostled me. She looked at me and made a threatening gesture, now, lend me your horse, and I will ride away from this city and avoid my fate. I will go to Samarra and there Death will not find me. The merchant lent him his horse, and the servant mounted it, and he dug his spurs in its flanks and as fast as the horse could gallop he went. Then the merchant went down to the marketplace and he saw me standing in the crowd and he came to me and said, Why did you make a threating gesture to my servant when you saw him this morning? That was not a threatening gesture, I said, it was only a start of surprise. I was astonished to see him in Baghdad, for I had an appointment with him tonight in Samarra.