Syria: Turkey’s Plans And Other Confused Thinking

Under U.S. pressure the Turkish parliament will vote tomorrow on joining the coalition against the Islamic State. But that will only be a disguise. The real aim of the Turkish president Erdogan is to install a puppet Islamist regime in Damascus. That is the price he is asking for:

Turkey will not allow coalition members to use its military bases or its territory in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) if the objective does not also include ousting the Bashar al-Assad regime, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan hinted on Oct. 1.

Erdogan’s Turkey is cooperating with the Islamic State, partly for ideological reasons, partly out of fear the Islamic State fighters in Turkey would attack within the country.

Erdogan is now planning for some Turkish controlled border zone in Syria where he could train anti-Syrian forces and continue to deal we the Islamic State out of the eyes of interested observers. The likely false pretense for a Turkish invasion in Syria will be a tomb under Turkish protection which has been for some time surrounded, but never attacked, by IS fighters:

Yeni Safak, a pro-government daily, said that as many as 1,100 fighters of the Islamic State, which now controls more one-third of Iraq and one-third of Syria, had deployed around the shrine of Suleyman Shah, the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman Empire. […] Turkey maintains an honor guard and protective detachment of 36 troops at the tomb, which lies about about 15 miles inside Syria.

Another reason to occupy a border zone within Syria are the Kurdish held areas within Syria under control of the YPG, a sister organization of the Kurdish PKK which is fighting for Kurd rights within Turkey. The area around Kobane is currently under attack by the Islamic State and neither Turkey nor the U.S. is doing anything to prevent a takeover there:

[I]n recent days, the Islamic State has been advancing, and the U.S. coalition, no doubt spurred on by Turkey’s fears that the YPG is allied with its own Kurdish separatist insurgents, hasn’t come to the rescue. When Turkish Kurds tried to send in fighters, the Turkish government stopped them, using tear gas.On Tuesday there was no sign of more volunteers, and none of the two dozen or so returning Kobane residents said they intended to join the militia, and a sense of hopelessness swept those who’d fled.

Russia has given warnings to Turkey to not proceed with its plans. Moscow surely has contingency plans for further support of Syria should the U.S. or Turkey attack the Syrian government.

During the last week the Islamic State has pulled back some of its fighters around Damascus. This has allowed the Syrian army to widen its protection zone around the city. But the last time the Islamic State pulled back, then in north-west Syria, the planned retreat was followed by the big attack on Mosul. The current retreat around Damascus is therefore likely in preparation for yet another big push against an unknown bigger target.

The U.S. acting against the Islamic State seems to be without any strategic framework. It has no to little intelligence about the targets it attacks and the lack of care of civilian casualties is quite astonishing.If this continues the U.S. will again end up as the one party hated by all other parties of the conflict.

The confused thinking is not limited to the White House. For the last three years the Washington Post’s David Ignatius has propagandized for a united “moderate opposition” in Syria. That pink pony has yet to arrive. But he today has a new great idea of how to finally reach that aim: “Bomb Christians and more civilians”:

[I]f U.S. airstrikes and other support are seen to be hitting Muslim fighters only, and strengthening the despised Assad, this strategy for creating a “moderate opposition” will likely fail.

Posted by b on October 1, 2014 at 01:26 PM | Permalink

you might be right about IS motives for backing away from damascus, as a temporary diversion for doing a much bigger attack in the near future.. all parties want to take out assad, from turkey to the usa to ISIS and damascus is the place it has to happen. israel is even doing it’s bit to help for david ignatius, i like these types of stooges tryiing to sell the idea of ‘moderate terrorists’.. they are so obviously full of shite and it is so obvious.. as someone else said their is no such thing as a good terrorist verses a bad terrorist… all of these political leaders wanting to see the overthrow of assad are bad terrorists too, along with writers like ignatius.. they all belong to the 24/7 war party and need to be sent somewhere faraway..Posted by: james | Oct 1, 2014 1:36:48 PM | 1
On the city of RabiaPosted by: Mina | Oct 1, 2014 1:37:02 PM | 2
Ebola can be spread during the incubation period.Posted by: lysias | Oct 1, 2014 1:43:16 PM | 3
Sounds like this is the normal, confusing, duplicitous, two-faced Turkish thing going on.
Who is surprised? Was Erdogan REALLY outraged at Israel over Mari Marmara? Seems more that it was for domestic consumption. Now he’s looking for the Ottoman piece out of the Syria destabilization campaign pretending to be about bombing ISIS – here’s your backdoor invasion of Syria Obongo and his Neocunts wanted LAST September.
Trust a Turk at your own risk.Posted by: Farflungstar | Oct 1, 2014 1:46:47 PM | 4

The government sent a proposal to parliament late on Tuesday which would broaden existing powers and allow Ankara to order military action to “defeat attacks directed towards our country from all terrorist groups in Iraq and Syria”.

The proposal would also mean Turkey, until now reluctant to take a frontline role against Islamic State, could allow foreign forces to use its territory for cross-border incursions.

But President Tayyip Erdogan said the removal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remained a Turkish priority and stressed Ankara’s fears that U.S.-led air strikes without a broader political strategy would only prolong the instability.

Turkey accuses Assad of stoking the growth of Islamic State through sectarian policies.

“We will fight effectively against both (Islamic State) and all other terrorist organisations within the region; this will always be our priority,” he told the opening of parliament, but added: “Tons of bombs dropped from the air will only delay the threat and danger.

“Turkey is not a country in pursuit of temporary solutions nor will Turkey allow others to take advantage of it.”

The new NATO chief said the alliance would come to Turkey’s aid if it was attacked, in an apparent reference to the border crisis.

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 1, 2014 1:53:52 PM | 5

@ bBut he today has a new great idea of how to finally reach that aim: “Bomb Christians and more civilians”:This is not far from what Jackson Dielh:the Syrian political settlement Obama says he seeks will require pursuing Kerry’s original idea of tipping the military balance so that Assad’s generals and his Alawite community face a choice between compromise and destructionKill bomb destroy all the minorities – way to go for the civilized erudite of WaPo. Wonder how they sleep at nightPosted by: Yul | Oct 1, 2014 2:04:25 PM | 6
The coalition continues to bomb ISIS and ISIS replies by increasing its attacks on the Kurds. What a fine mess !Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 1, 2014 2:06:13 PM | 7
I remember that Syria had sent troops to Saudi Arabia to support the effort to liberate Kuwayt in 1990/1991.Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 1, 2014 2:14:00 PM | 8

Diehl’s stint as the Post’s deputy editorial page editor has coincided with what many observers consider to be a decidedly hawkish and conservative turn in the page’s editorial stances.[4] Diehl’s own writings—he publishes a regular column for the Post on foreign affairs—typically lean to the militarist right, leading one observer to characterize him as “the knee-jerk hawk at the Washington Post.”[5] Among his common targets are leftist leaders in Latin America and the Middle East.[6]

The strategic disaster of the Iraq War did not change Diehl’s attitude toward U.S. intervention abroad. In a column marking the tenth anniversary of the war, Diehl lamented that U.S. policymakers had learned the “wrong lessons” from Iraq and had become unnecessarily timid about intervening in Syria. “In the absence of U.S. intervention,” he claimed, “Syria is looking like it could produce a much worse humanitarian disaster and a far more serious strategic reverse for the United States” than Iraq. “The tragedy of the post-Iraq logic embraced by President Obama is that it has ruled out not just George W. Bush-style invasions but also the more modest intervention used by the Clinton administration to prevent humanitarian catastrophes and protect U.S. interests in the 1990s.”[7]

Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 1, 2014 2:24:22 PM | 9

Moscow surely has contingency plans for further support of Syria should the U.S. or Turkey attack the Syrian government.What would those plans be? Go for Kiev? Come up with a Russian-backed version of IS/ISIS/ISIL that attacks within Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey? Nuke somebody, and if so who?I’m genuinely curious. What would the “plans” be or what would they involve?Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Oct 1, 2014 2:41:13 PM | 10

There is still a border between Syria and Iraq …

Targeting IS: New PM Abadi opposes Arab air strikes in IraqIraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has told the BBC he “totally” opposes Arab nations joining air strikes against Islamic State in his country. Several Arab states, including Saudi Arabia and Jordan, have joined the international coalition against IS. Their aircraft have carried out strikes in Syria, but only those from the US, UK and France have hit targets in Iraq.

Iraq PM opposes foreign ground forces in Iraq


○ ISIL militants are advancing on Suleyman Shah Tomb in northern Syria guarded by Turkish troops

Posted by: Oui | Oct 1, 2014 2:58:46 PM | 11

More US raids as ISIL advances to within 2km from Kobanê, a bordertown(Al Jazeera) Oct. 1, 2014 – US-led forces have carried out at least five air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) outside Kobane, a monitoring group has said, after the group’s fighters pushed to within 2km of the Syrian-Kurdish town. The strikes hit ISIL fronts south and southeast of the town, also known as Ain al-Arab, which the group has been battling to take for more than two weeks.

How it started …
Protest in Homs, Al-Saa Square renamed ‘Tahrir Square’ | April 2011 |


Posted by: Oui | Oct 1, 2014 3:19:50 PM | 12

Posted by: Yul | Oct 1, 2014 2:04:25 PM | 6I read that wapo opinion piece and I could not disagree more with the summation of needing to remove Assad before Syria can be allowed to operate freely against Saudi-Qatar-Turkey backed terrorists within its own borders. It just stinks. If Assad’s government is not allowed to rid itself of the color revolution terrorists and ISIL in particular Syria will be no more. It will get carved up and/or be thrown into Libya-like chaos. The US state dept. Libya rationale for Syria is just doubling down wrong.Posted by: really | Oct 1, 2014 3:21:32 PM | 13
So, Erdogan wants to train & support islamic fighters to overthrow Assad and establish a client state in Syria. Does Erdogan think he can control those islamists/jihadis ? Like the saudis & the US thought they could control ISIS ? Remember, the US & the Saudis overthrew Khadaffi and messed up Libya.And then there’s the Fetullah Gülen movement who’s seems to be doing a good job undermining/weakening Erdogan.Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 1, 2014 3:22:41 PM | 14
The most pressing issue for Russia is the future of the russian naval basis in Tarsus. Frankly, I think Russia can kiss both Assad & the naval base good bye. That’s what Russia needs a contingency plan for.Posted by: Willy2 | Oct 1, 2014 3:38:08 PM | 15
Be A Big Boy Bob!What is this bs about Saudi guilt?

  • The US exploited the Muslim Brotherhood in the overthrow of Mossadeq in 1953.
  • The US maintained the Pahlevi Dynasty with terror by the CIA and Israel’s Mossad
  • Under president Carter, the Brzezinski doctrine to foil the Soviets, Saudi Arabia was asked to support mujahideen fighters, train and arm them. Pakistan and the ISI gave support and later set up the Taliban in Afghanistan to prevent influence from archrival India in the region. The beginning of a young devout Saudi Osama Bin Laden and his future partner Al Zawahiri from the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood
  • President Reagan gave support to Saddam Hussein in the war against the Khomeini regime of Iran. The US turned a blind eye on Iraq’s use of chemical warfare.
  • The first Gulf War was fought on behalf of the royal families of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. All expenses paid.
  • The US and Israel gave support to Sunni factions in Lebanon to counter Iranian influence with Syria and Hezbollah.
  • The Bush regime was closely allied with Saudi Arabia and Israel on policy towards Lebanon and Syria, tried to blame the Hariri assassination on Syrian intelligence. The U.N. investigation cleared the Syrian generals and intelligence officers from blame.
  • Bush and Cheney gave the Saudi King and Prince Bandar a black eye by invading Iraq, contrary to the plea of the Saudis. Israel’s PM Sharon had pushed for the attack on Saddam Hussein and Iraq. Once the occupation had become reality and the majority Shia took power, the US allowed the Saudis to fund and arm the Sunni population of Anbar province. Hereby got al-Zarqawi leverage and Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) was founded. As the displeasure with the Americans and its allies grew (Fallujah massacre and Abu Ghraib), the insurgency drew support. The integrated population of Baghdad became segregated where the communities were divided into Shia and Sunni ethnicity. The etnic war was unleashed and Iraq never recovered.
  • The mess Bush made became much worse when the Obama neocons decided to push for regime change in Libya and Syria. The Obama administration bears full responsibility for the Syrian quagmire.
  • Of course Israel has exploited the War on Terror after the 9/11 attacks for its own goal: delegitimize the Palestinians and further the Zionist goal of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria up to the Jordan river. The US administrations have always obliged the wishes of the Israelis contrary to U.N. Security Councils resolutions and International Law. The US always failed to be an honest peace broker with the Palestinians.Saudi Arabia for decades have set up madrasses (religious schools) in Lebanon and Syria to undermine the unity and stability of both governments/states. Israel like the US makes use of division and makes deals with any and all sides: dictators, rogue elements, terror groups and legitimate governments. A false flag attack is part of the war for survival.○ Israeli TV News Claims Dearborn Hotbed of Islamist TerrorismI won’t cry for you Bob Graham.Posted by: Oui | Oct 1, 2014 3:40:18 PM | 16
@ Posted by: really | Oct 1, 2014 3:21:32 PM | 13Seems that those armchair neocons are not alone:“cannot be fully neutralized in Syria without neutralizing its biggest recruiter and collaborator: the Assad regime.”Yep, the apologists for the rebels /islamists/jihadists/liver eaters/ are saying that Assad is responsible for everything .
I guess he is the one who started the Italian Letter for the excuse for regime change in Iraq or he is the one who spent $3B (it is Qatar by the way) to hire foreign rebels to outset “himself” and kill all the minorities in his country.Man there are some stupid people advising this administration , as bad as the last one.Posted by: Yul | Oct 1, 2014 4:20:02 PM | 18
Oui, @16 nice summary. Pretty much covered it.Posted by: okie farmer | Oct 1, 2014 4:29:10 PM | 19
Whatever the loss of Syria would be for Russia and its Tartus base plus the resulting destabilization of Russia with the return of thousands of jubilant Islamists. The loss of Syria would be catastrophic for Lebanon who could not hold out against hordes of lunatic Wahhabis, which would leave Iran exposed as the last hold out to US dominance in the region, the reason it will not happen is that Iran and Russia won’t let it happen. On 16 June 2006 the defense ministers of Iran and Syria signed an agreement for military cooperation against what they called the “common threats” presented by Israel and the United States. Details of the agreement were not specified, however then Syrian defense minister Najjar said “Iran considers Syria’s security its own security, and we consider our defense capabilities to be those of Syria.”Posted by: harry law | Oct 1, 2014 4:44:29 PM | 20
George Galloway gives the UK Parliament both barrels on Islamic State. by: harry law | Oct 1, 2014 5:11:53 PM | 21
@16 oui.. ditto okies comment, with one exception – the reason saudi arabia is so tied up in the mid east mess is due their exchange of all oil into us$ that saudi arabia is bound to.. they have to do something with all those us$@21 harry.. excellent video. thanks.Posted by: james | Oct 1, 2014 5:37:04 PM | 22
‘[I]f U.S. airstrikes and other support are seen to be hitting Muslim fighters only, and strengthening the despised Assad, this strategy for creating a “moderate opposition” will likely fail.

itd be worth tweeting Ignatius about who exactly despises ‘Assad’….Netanyahoo does but suffers from the fact he really is despised around the worldPosted by: brian | Oct 1, 2014 6:41:26 PM | 23
Russia has given warnings to Turkey to not proceed with its plans. 
Does Russia have any leverage with Turkey?
AlMonitor, Sep 23

As the European Union toughens sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, uneasiness is growing over the possibility of Russia retaliating by cutting natural gas supplies.

…And what is Turkey doing to get ready for possible shortages?

Before we answer the question, let’s see how much gas Turkey imports from Russia. Last year, Turkey imported a total of 45 billion cubic meters (1.6 trillion cubic feet) of gas, including 26.6 billion cubic meters (939 billion cubic feet) from Russia. Two gas conduits carry gas from Russia to Turkey: the Blue Stream, which runs under the Black Sea to the Turkish port city of Samsun and has an annual capacity of 16 billion cubic meters (565 billion cubic feet), and the Western pipeline, which reaches Turkey via Ukraine, Romania and Bulgaria, has a capacity of 14 billion cubic meters (494 billion cubic feet) and is vital for Istanbul.

The crisis between Russia and Ukraine poses no risk to the Blue Stream, but may affect the Western pipeline. Russia has already cut gas supplies for Ukraine over its $5.15 billion gas debt.

If the cutoff continues, Ukraine is considering meeting its needs by drawing gas from conduits to Europe and Turkey that pass through its territory. This would be a bad scenario for Turkey, for it raises the prospect of Russia turning off the taps of the Western pipeline to prevent Ukraine from taking the gas. . .


Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 1, 2014 7:09:24 PM | 24

“Man there are some stupid people advising this administration , as bad as the last one.”Yep, and seemingly many of the same ones.Obama is to “hope” what a tornado is to a trailer park.___________The Galloway video is appalling for the behavior of the other MPs. This is a group of people who don’t dare to listen to anyone with a different opinion. A man who knows the region and its people and politics. They simply scoff and throw out red herrings, and giggle like a bunch of school children.They just laugh like idiots while they sign the death warrant of men, women, and children. These people have no decency at all.To think that it is people like this who represent us, but whats more possess the power to wage war and even to end the world with nuclear bombs should they choose – is a thought so sobering, it makes me reach for the scotch.
___________”the Islamic State, which now controls more one-third of Iraq and one-third of Syria”

This is blatant fear-mongering from the media. Its idiotic. ISIS “controls” some vast desert with a relative handful of fighters. Yet the media always plays into ISIS’s own propaganda. Funny coincidence, I suppose.

Posted by: guest77 | Oct 1, 2014 7:36:25 PM | 25

27 maps that explain the crisis in Iraqguest77 — don’t miss #23 re: “ISIS “controls” some vast desert with a relative handful of fighters.”Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 1, 2014 8:09:48 PM | 26
@Don – Oh right, thanks for that, haha.Look, they control right down to the Saudi border even! Of course, there’s no roads there, nothing but hundreds of square miles of powder, burning sand… but ISIS “controls” it….sure thing, MSM.Posted by: guest77 | Oct 1, 2014 8:27:31 PM | 27
@26 – I mean, perhaps you’re being serious. I do take the point that they control many cities and a large area. But to describe it as “1/3 of Syria and 1/3 of Iraq” countries with a total population of 45 million, and they “control” an area that contains 6 million… that’s just a bit of hyperbole, I think.Posted by: guest77 | Oct 1, 2014 8:29:31 PM | 28
I didn’t really state any of that well: I mean this: they do lord over an area that contains 6 million people. But the writer would have you believe they controlled at least double that, I suppose.Posted by: guest77 | Oct 1, 2014 8:31:42 PM | 29
@guest77 #28
I do take the point that they control many cities and a large area.Yes, which has been the US objective in Iraq, to atone for its expensive screwed-up faulty stupid Operation Iraqi Freedom which converted Iraq to an Iran ally. This was a big mistake requiring corrective action, as all mistakes do.Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 1, 2014 9:10:08 PM | 30
@30 don… the invasion of iraq was one big stupid mistake by the exceptional nation.. you make it sound like the 24/7 war party had some grand concept apart from imposing a failed state.. forget it.. this is the same bs 11 years down the road..Posted by: james | Oct 1, 2014 9:24:40 PM | 31
@ james #31
you make it sound like the 24/7 war party had some grand concept apart from imposing a failed state.
No, I didn’t. You made that up.
You might want to click on my name, below.Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 1, 2014 9:38:47 PM | 32
“Moscow surely has contingency plans for further support of Syria should the U.S. or Turkey attack the Syrian government.”What would those plans be? Go for Kiev? Come up with a Russian-backed version of IS/ISIS/ISIL that attacks within Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey? Nuke somebody, and if so who? I’m genuinely curious. What would the “plans” be or what would they involve?
Posted by: Cold N. Holefield | Oct 1, 2014 2:41:13 PM | 10
Russia’s plan, from the moment Vlad moved his (combat-ready) fleet from Tartus to open water in the Med (and augmented it with extra ships and began refreshing it at regular intervals), was to protect Syria from outside military interference – by NATO’s self-deceiving pussies & dimwits. NATO, by its very nature, is first and foremost a strictly ornamental anti-Russia (dis-)organisation.Putin will destroy NATO if its clowns try to degrade Syria’s ability to defend itself from INTERNAL enemies. ALL external enemies are Russia’s responsibility to crush.I keep a fresh packet of popcorn ready so I can fully enjoy the opening salvo … of NATO’s demise.Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Oct 1, 2014 9:52:59 PM | 33
The US doesn’t attack any country that has the capability to counter-attack or to defend itself. Only the weak ones qualify, which is why Dempsey told Kerry to get lost when Kerry wanted Syria bombed for Ghouta.Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 1, 2014 10:03:58 PM | 34
Spengler writes that Turkey is deep in current deficit and the cash coming in to balance the books is possibly coming from …guess…Gulf states. But which? Probably Qatar, not KSA. AlMonitor has written about The Saudi-Turkey cold war for Sunni hegemony.Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 1, 2014 10:23:27 PM | 35
From the prison cell of a dissident and a hero: Manning weighs in on ISISPosted by: guest77 | Oct 1, 2014 10:28:40 PM | 36
Manning opines that avoiding direct action with Isis can be successful, and he’s probably correct. But avoiding direct action anywhere is not an option for a country which professes to be a world leader. DepSecDef Bob Work, speaking recently at CFR: “We’re going to sustain a global approach to countering violent extremists and terrorist threats with an emphasis on the Middle East and Africa.”Obama has been charged with leading from behind, and that’s political poison. So it’s “Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country. . .I ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL to stop its advances.”Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 1, 2014 10:46:02 PM | 37
The situation is indeed getting dangerous, on multiple fronts.IS could conceivably strike at two targets of immense import, in both the Islamic world and to the West, for symbolic and practical reasons. One is Baghdad, once the seat of the Abbasid Caliphate and now the seat of Shi’ite Iraqi government, as well as the symbol of American power in the Middle East. The other is Kuwait, and from there, Eastern Saudi Arabia, where most of its oil is. While both will be difficult to conquer through conventional arms, they are also thick with IS sympathisers, in form of the large Sunni population of Baghdad and the Wahhabis of both SA and the Gulf.A great irony is that such a great coup by IS, by crushing the delusions in Washington and elsewhere, might be the salvation of humanity. The idea that Russia might do something or rather, that Washington insiders would be expecting it, even if no one knows what it might be, coupled with the apparent hubris in Washington, that America can win a nuclear war, is something that should frighten us all. In 1914, the German general staff believed that it was possible to defeat both France and Russia in a single war, provided that the German army acted fast. Accordingly, Germany declared war on Russia while the latter was stuck in an ambiguous political posturing and struck at France for flimsy excuses through neutral Belgium so that they could defeat France before Russians were mobilized for war. I could see the US start a full scale nuclear war on Russia if the current series of events continue, to “stop” them from whatever, much the way The German generals did vis a vis the same Russians.Posted by: a different anon | Oct 1, 2014 11:13:46 PM | 38
@ a different anon #38
Any IS attacks upon Baghdad and Kuwait can be easily countered by Iran and US troops respectively. Iran’s army is only a short drive from Baghdad, and the US Army and Marines are in Kuwait. I believe that IS intentions have already been mostly realized, occupying large sections of Syria and Iraq, also that the US is happy with what they’ve accomplished, the US having spawned ISIS. Iran’s allies Iraq and Syria have been suitably weakened, and future changes in the current situation will probably be limited, because of the Iran and US military capabilities I have mentioned. We might even see some successes against ISIS by Iran-Iraq collaboration on the ground.Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 1, 2014 11:41:58 PM | 39
@Don You mean you feel ISIS has established themselves and will form, for all intents and purposes, a state out there? And they’ll stay put?Posted by: guest77 | Oct 1, 2014 11:58:46 PM | 40
@ guest77 #40
I can’t predict the future any better than anyone else, but looking at the near term, ISIS has satisfied the (usual) US goal of promoting destabilization in two Iran allies, so what’s not to like for the US.Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 2, 2014 12:05:22 AM | 41
Hehe, in connection to the comment I made about Juan Cole’s blog post affirming Obama’s lie about the CIA being in the dark about ISIS, there is this: Spy Agency Officials: Obama Scapegoating Us Over ISIS:

The officials say they repeatedly warned the president and other officials about the growing risks of ISIS, and that the White House is trying to scapegoat them for ISIS’ growth.


Posted by: Demian | Oct 2, 2014 12:11:39 AM | 42

I haven’t seen anything written about the effect of the Arab Awakening on the formation of ISIS.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.

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.


Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 2, 2014 12:16:41 AM | 43

Basic look at Iran/Israel competition for the loyalty of Kurdistan. by: guest77 | Oct 2, 2014 12:32:25 AM | 44
@@ guest77 #40
I didn’t make it clear — Obama will go through the SHOW of fighting ISIS so he can remain as a wartime president, which is the new normal. The US air forces are trying out their new glide bombs, the publicity looks good, the media is happy with higher ad rates, the Pentagon has stuff to pontificate about, the end of sequestration looks more favorable, Lockheed is declaring a dividend as its stock is up 40% over a year ago, and above all the profits are rolling in and the pols are happy that the US is “doing something” against beheaders to retain its status as world #1.Posted by: Don Bacon | Oct 2, 2014 12:38:31 AM | 45
@45 – There is no doubt that ISIS is a boon for the US in nearly every way. You offered a substantial list of the domestic advantages ISIS offers the US, and I’d suggest that the list of advantages for the US from ISIS internationally is even longer.Posted by: guest77 | Oct 2, 2014 12:47:01 AM | 46
i enjoy and admire syriangirl.. she is stunning or a distraction to look at as well! here is her take on the usa airstrikes on ISIS and other related topics..Posted by: james | Oct 2, 2014 1:02:14 AM | 47
Good summary of ISIS strategy by Alastair CrookePosted by: somebody | Oct 2, 2014 1:34:00 AM | 48
Obama skipped most of his daily intelligence briefings – Govt Accountability Institute by: Guest77 | Oct 2, 2014 1:45:29 AM | 49
@47 – A real patriot and hero. She was the beautiful face of the resistance and truth about Syria since the beginning. She changed a lot of minds, no doubt about it.Posted by: Guest77 | Oct 2, 2014 1:52:47 AM | 50
@james #47:Thanks for that. Didn’t know about her.That just made me think: that’s the first time I heard what a Syrian thinks about the war in Syria for over a year. The previous time was an interview with Assad on RT. It’s easy for Americans to think that Syrians are just mute barbarians with no right to say about what happens to their own country, but why do Europeans allow their media to portray Syrians as mute animals?@somebody #48:To quote from that piece:

The deep inconsistency — and likely cause of this whole enterprise’s ultimate failure — is simply the paradox that the West’s allies of choice will not, and cannot, be true ‘partners’ to this ‘war.’ They have been too tainted with the firing up of this same Salafist ideology for too many decades.

That’s not a bug (“inconsistency”): it’s a feature (the Anglosphere’s nihilism and utter disdain for human life).

There’s also this:

The U.S. administration thus is between a rock and a hard place: Saudi Arabia desperately wants Assad’s head on a plate and volunteers to fund the “war” effort for that end. But, for Obama to assent to Iranian-Russian conditions — and thereby indirectly strengthen President Assad — he will cause outrage in the Gulf and amongst the “moderate” Syrian exile insurgents. By doing as the Gulf wishes (attacking Assad’s forces), however, he will almost certainly tip Russia, Iran and Hezbollah into overt opposition and escalation, which will greatly complicate the war on ISIS in Syria (and in Iraq, too).

Poor, poor US administration! As if most wars today are not caused by the US’s maniacal insistence on being dictator of the world, instead of minding its own business and getting its own house in order. Dismantle the Empire: no more destruction of countries or getting caught “between a rock and a hard place”.

Posted by: Demian | Oct 2, 2014 2:03:38 AM | 51

A new twist in US-sponsored terrorism: targeting children:41 Children Slain in Suicide Attack Outside Syrian SchoolBut this doesn’t make the front page of Google News or the NY Times, because the children weren’t American, and were in a country that the US is determined to destroy.Posted by: Demian | Oct 2, 2014 2:15:05 AM | 52
@48 somebody.. looks interesting but i refuse to read anything from huffpost on principle, lol..@50 guest77. i agree.@51 demian. we are so used to hearing or reading from talking heads, or offical bullshitters that it is refreshing to be able to read what someone inside syria thinks..i imagine all of you have seen this, but if not, it’s worth the 22 minutes.The Geopolitics of World War IIIPosted by: james | Oct 2, 2014 2:24:45 AM | 53
@Don Bacon (wrt post 39)The notion that an IS “attack,” or, really, a “fighting infiltration” as I was thinking, can be blunted easily by US Or Iranian forces is predicated on the attack being conventional, with the attackers providing easy targets. I don’t see it. The key should be the states of populations, much of whom will at least passively cooperate with IS smuggling cadres into Baghdad, Kuwait, or SA, where they can stage a likely urban rising Algiers (or Tet) style. A lot of US firepower advantages will be eliminated, unless US forces are willing to fight like IDF in Gaza (which both failed militarily and eroded Israeli reputation even further). Iraqi, Kuwaiti, or Saudi forces will lack the skill to fight effectively in such setting. If something like that takes place, Iraqi govt will be forced near Basra, being reduced to Iranian puppet. IS taking Kuwait will be an extremely bold move, given the Shi’a populations of the south, but it will place them in position of being able to dictate to the Gulfies, not being their mere proxy against Their Shi’a enemies.Posted by: a different anon | Oct 2, 2014 2:33:52 AM | 54
Posted by: a different anon | Oct 2, 2014 2:33:52 AM | 54I keep my fingers crossed for that Kuwait Gulf strategy but think ISIL/the Gulf will stop at a semi-hostile blackmail/funding relationship.Posted by: somebody | Oct 2, 2014 3:14:35 AM | 55
More on the Gulf ISIS love-hate relationship

In a tweet made on Sunday, however, Mr Rajab said that many Bahrainis who had joined the Islamic State (IS) militant group had come from state security institutions.These institutions served as the “ideological incubator” for IS, the tweet alleged.


So why did ISIS attack American interests in Kurdistan and beheaded US and British journalists to draw these countries in.

Posted by: somebody | Oct 2, 2014 3:32:16 AM | 56

Obama needs to rethink the Assad must go rhetoric. It won’t be the first or last time that a president and his administration would require such a poignant and astute event. If one can’t learn from his or her mistakes, especially when lives are at risk, then that person is not qualified of holding the office of president. Obama can and should use the Libya disaster as the rationale for any future smart decision to recant the Assad must go statement. When that statement was made the Arab Spring was in full blossom, emotions were running high and I myself got caught up in the storm. Cooler heads should have thought about the consequences regarding an ouster of Assad and his government.Obama could tie Assad’s continued tenure with human rights reforms if needed. An international body could develop the guidelines. It is time to take out ISIL and any other terrorist groups in Syria and stabilize that part of the middle east.This is worth a read below by: really | Oct 2, 2014 4:59:06 AM | 57Source: Moon of Alabama Hjælp os med at sprede artiklen til andre!Tryk på “Synes godt om” og send den videre til din egen Facebook, hvis du har en sådan. 

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