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DeWitz

Islamic State in the Levant Advances

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Gromdor

This is indeed sectarian violence. And I do tend to agree with And Then than Iran is going to be the ones that ultimately comes and helps, if the Iraqi's can't get their act together. The current rulers of Iraq are Shiite as is Iran. Al Qaeda is Sunni as is the rebels.

As for the endgame. The endgame for us was the removal of Saddam and elimination of weapons of mass destruction. We did that. That's it.

If 12,000 Iraqi military decides not to fight against 800 militants then so be it. I'm not willing spill one drop of American blood for someone that won't even fight for themselves.

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Space Commander Travis

This is indeed sectarian violence. And I do tend to agree with And Then than Iran is going to be the ones that ultimately comes and helps, if the Iraqi's can't get their act together. The current rulers of Iraq are Shiite as is Iran. Al Qaeda is Sunni as is the rebels.

As for the endgame. The endgame for us was the removal of Saddam and elimination of weapons of mass destruction. We did that. That's it.

If 12,000 Iraqi military decides not to fight against 800 militants then so be it. I'm not willing spill one drop of American blood for someone that won't even fight for themselves.

I'm sure they've been very careful to make sure that there are no personnel in the Army and Air Force with sympathy for the insurgents...

:unsure2:

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Leonardo

And while the people, and govts, of the "West" denounce the violence and sectarianism, others in our "free world" gladly take advantage through arms deals, etc.

Violence is the business upon which our modern economies are built so, while we all enjoy the fruits of those economies we are all to blame for the horrors our nations beget upon others through facilitating this violence.

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Wickian

Short of a total take over I don't think there's much we can for that region. The zealous nuts out there simply will not stop until they have complete dominance with a brutal interpretation of their religion of peace.

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RavenHawk

Ah, so it's the Progessives' fault, of course. It couldn't possibly be the neoconservatives' fault for invading the damn place in the first place 11 years ago, of course.

Absolutely and here is why. First of all, the invasion of Iraq was the prudent thing to do but it wasn’t spearheaded by neocons. Let’s just say it was the Hawks that had the clear vision. The ignorance of Progressives can’t see beyond their nose. That’s why they can only blame the Hawks or even neocons for the invasion, instead of understanding the dynamics of the situation.

I think the Hawks understood that if we were going to go in that it would have to be for a long time. Not indefinitely or forever but multigenerational. I like to use the British Raj as the example to follow. What I blame the Hawks for is not making that clear to the American people. Bush played the hype card and not confidence card. If we didn’t have the Will in the first place we shouldn’t have gone in, but once we were in, you have to see this to the very end. I think what got a lot of Progressives was a warning Cheney issued in ‘94:

Because if we'd gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn't have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq.

Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein's government, then what are you going to put in its place? That's a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it -- eastern Iraq -- the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you've got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey.

It's a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq.

The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families -- it wasn't a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth?

Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.

This wasn’t a warning not to go in at all but to be prepared for what would happen – what would be necessary. When you go to war, one of the primary goals is to decapitate the leadership. Going in we would need to be prepared to get stung. I like to use my Hornet’s Nest analogy here.

Your home has a small hornet’s nest in the attic. It’s not bothering anyone (it’s over there) so you leave it alone but it continues to grow. You’re afraid of being stung. At what point, for the safety of your family, do you decide that it must go? The larger you let it get means the more stings you will get and the harder it becomes trying to clear out the nest. The Hawks didn’t create the nest, they just stirred it up, but it’s the Progressives that are saying there is no danger. They brought Johnnie home. Progressives have no concept of the consequences of bringing home the troops.

The hornet’s nest began to grow back in ’79. If Carter had supported the Shah then, we wouldn’t be having these problems with Saddam, Iran, and now ISIS. We invaded Iraq in 2003. How soon do we forget that the revised NIE never denied that WMD existed, it just cut back on the amounts. There was no accountability. However, we did get the most dangerous WMD – Saddam. As long as he was in power, the threat would always be there. Chirac wanted to arm Iraq with nukes to counter Iran, but there was a Sunni/Shiite civil war coming that our invasion curtailed at least for a while. Saddam or his sons wouldn’t have been able to put it down. No dictator has been able to hold back a flood. What is happening now was going to happen anyway unless something was done.

We had a great opportunity to make a real difference. Bush was not strong enough to take on the secular and sectarian terrorists *AND* our own Progressives. That opportunity was in the form of a multigenerational presence in very much the way of the British Ra. After a Century, they were able to leave a stable and united India. Now we sit and wait to see what else can and will go wrong because of Obama’s mishandling. In the end, this weakness of our leadership at the highest levels will ensure the expenditure of magnitudes more blood and treasure than if we had stayed (mark my words). You can tell it is a vacuum of leadership by the fact of all the **** going on from Ukraine to Iraq, from Africa to our own Southern border.

This is just setting the row of dominos to fall. Will Hezbollah and the Wahhabists join ISIS? Is Iran looking to support the Shiite population of Iraq or do they just have their eyes on the Eastern part of the country? Just because they are Shiite doesn’t mean that there are no differences between Arab and Persian. The Persian thinks that the Arab is a second-class human. Is Turkey ready to take Northern Syria? What are the Kurds going to do? What will Jordan do? Is Egypt going to stay out or will it allow the Muslim Brotherhood to try to regain power? How will Israel get involved? I’m sure they already have plans and targets selected. How will this invigorate the Taliban in Afghanistan and how will Pakistan react? Will India go on alert? While all the attention is going on at the front door will China exert her power in the backdoor of SE Asia? Will the Uyghurs and Tibetans see this as an opportunity to try to rise up? Will Kim Jong-un get worked up and strike SK? Is Putin going to feel left out? Obama is tuning his lyre.

What a mess when you have inadequate leadership. This just goes to show that a community organizer is no leader and that 0300 phone call is going unanswered. And before we can do anything, we need to shut down our border so tight that a flea can’t get in because the storm is coming. We’re going to have to draft kids right out of high school and get them trained as fast as possible. That is sad for a so-called superpower. This is what American Hegemony prevented in the first place, now it looks like we are going to pay the price of Ignorance and Apathy.

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RavenHawk

is there one example of "Nation building" or imposing "Freedom" on anywhere in the Middle East that the West has done that has been a success? or one case where the "War on Terror" has actually succeeded in reducing extremism?

Not exactly the ME but close. The British occupation of India. That is the classic example for us to emulate. India was very much like the ME. The warlord controlled the population rather than a central government. But this model will only work if our Will is stronger than the enemy. How does one make their Will stronger? Are we willing to do what is necessary? If we make the commitment then the cost in blood and treasure will be worth it but the longer we wait the more costly it becomes. The West really hasn’t done what is necessary to reduce it. We need to take the lesson from fighting Germany and Japan (Total War) and apply it to the region. The only way to make the extremist give up is to beat their Will to fight. We haven’t done want is necessary to do that. The vacuum that we left behind has only enabled their Will. It was our presence there that quelled their movement. It has been American Hegemony that has kept the peace. When you take that away, the outlaws run rampant.

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Space Commander Travis

I might agree with all you say, but I've got to respect you for taking the time to answer in such depth there, RH.

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RoofGardener

Sooo... should we have an Unexplained Mysteries betting pool on whether ISIS will actually advance on Baghdad ?

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DeWitz

@Ravenhawk--Thanks for your explanation for your earlier livid reaction. I understand your point of view, but differ in several aspects. In my opinion the US never should have/had the right to invade Iraq; only insofar as "might makes right." My biggest disagreement with you is that you appear to be applying 19th (the Raj) and 20th (total war) prescriptions to a 21st century problem. We would not have today's scenario had we not invaded Iraq without the will to stay--this was not the "progressives'" responsibility. The US violently and thoroughly destabilized Iraq without a follow-up plan, and the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld troika never controlled the situation in the first place. It was a neocon botch from A to Z. The long view of what "shoulda-coulda" doesn't change what happened. There were no WMD's and 'Hussein was a WMD'' only because, under Reagan, the US supplied him with WWI-era poison gas. It all could have been avoided by smarter leadership 2000-2009. That was lacking. What we have now isn't much better, but Obama did not create the angry hornet's nest. People knew what they were voting for when he campaigned on pulling back from so-called 'nation-building,' against which Bush campaigned in 2000--then he went and tried it, and bungled. . . badly. That history cannot be rewritten.

Edited by DeWitz
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and then

Do you think the caliphate is a 'possible dream' (to paraphrase Cervantes), or do you think this is geo-political-military jockeying for position (or possession), as in, "to the victor go the spoils?" I'm not sure where you get the alleged desire of Turkey (government? people? Islamic elites?) to head anything, given their NATO membership and relatively westernized culture. Iran, the 'usual suspect,' may have aspirations in this jumble, but they will have their hands full balancing the Sunni militants approaching Baghdad. Or do you see the whole swath of North Africa to historic Mesopotamia as a giant Sunni vs. Shi'ite chess board?

I think a Caliphate is doable under precisely the right circumstances but they are not in effect today, not yet. The area you delineate is the ancient home of this conflict -of the actors anyway. The Sunni/Shia divide is the catalyst and the fuel is religious hatred. Erdogan of Turkey is reinventing that country and pressing Islamic doctrine over many areas of the government. Remember the riots last year? Turkey/Iran/Saudi Arabia are the major players here. This splinter group (ISIS) is just the tip of the "crazy" spear. I think Iran has decided that they will dominate Iraq no matter what it takes. You see the IRGC I spoke of yesterday already moving to help "defend" Mosul? This is the old war that started when Ali didn't get the job. It's so much like a Sopranos script it'd be amusing if it weren't so deadly. My guess is that they will wrestle to a bloody "draw" and then I think that eventually a coalition of the willing among these jihadis of BOTH flavors will try their luck against Israel.

BTW, if the west wants the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to continue to exist and be even slightly helpful in the Muslim world they'd better stage a few divisions their asap.

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DeWitz

What I don't understand is how sending Western military forces to defend Jordan (or anyone) is going to help the situation. NATO is still involved in Afghanistan, and that's not going so well. Is the West's interest simply oil, or are there other strategic concerns you perceive in the morass that is the ME? I know you are a staunch supporter of Israel--how does this figure into your equation? I, personally, can't see how the West can intervene militarily without causing more outrage and the multiplication of jihadists. If the goal is to enrage and inflame militant Islamists even more than they are already, by all means lets intervene. "Gas on the fire" is a phrase that comes to mind.

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the-Unexpected-Soul

Mousel city after being captured by Isis

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Xeno-Fish

It is sad that the only way they will find peace is when their all dead. That not one of them lives, because of their genocidal tendencies. So very sad. I say leave them to deal with themselves. Maybe the whole world should cut off everything to them.

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and then

What I don't understand is how sending Western military forces to defend Jordan (or anyone) is going to help the situation. NATO is still involved in Afghanistan, and that's not going so well. Is the West's interest simply oil, or are there other strategic concerns you perceive in the morass that is the ME? I know you are a staunch supporter of Israel--how does this figure into your equation? I, personally, can't see how the West can intervene militarily without causing more outrage and the multiplication of jihadists. If the goal is to enrage and inflame militant Islamists even more than they are already, by all means lets intervene. "Gas on the fire" is a phrase that comes to mind.

Didn't say anything about attacking anyone here. I was simply saying that in this area we have VERY few "friends" and the government (not the people) of Jordan is one of those few. Once Syria and Iraq are sorted they are up at bat. In answer to Israel's place in my equation, I think Israelis an extremely potent adversary and without a US presence to comfort the jitters of so many enemies and so much intrigue around them, Tel Aviv may decide to strike without waiting to be struck by a consolidated force. 1967 comes to mind. But if a shooting war between Israel and a couple or more of her neighbors arises then forget the conflict that happened in Lebanon in 2006. That was a liberal government's half hearted attempt to push back against a terror strike and it just got out of hand. Even Nasrallah said later that he'd NEVER have tried the hostage grab if he'd known what it would have led to. No this time Israel will go hard from the outset and it will be a damnable bloody fiasco for the region and possibly the world. THIS is the interest the west should be aware of above all.
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the-Unexpected-Soul

Only justin bieber can fix the situation in ME but amireca is not willing to use it's advancd

Weapons

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and then

Only justin bieber can fix the situation in ME but amireca is not willing to use it's advancd

Weapons

Not sure what you mean. How do you see this playing out Unexpected? Do you think a Caliphate is on the cards?

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lightly

I always have to wonder in what condition India and Africa and the Middle east would be in if Not for all of the outside interference... from colonialism to the present day. Much of the trouble caused in all three regions came about to a large degree by outsiders Replacing governments and Drawing borders where Violence would be a certain result. Why?

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lightly

is there one example of "Nation building" or imposing "Freedom" on anywhere in the Middle East that the West has done that has been a success? or one case where the "War on Terror" has actually succeeded in reducing extremism?

No, because nation building and freedom and reducing extremism are not the goals.

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Br Cornelius

Didn't the intervention in Iraq turn out well in the end.

Bush and his NeoCon cronies should be hung draw and quartered and fed to the wolves for the disaster he has created.

Br Cornelius

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and then

Didn't the intervention in Iraq turn out well in the end.

Bush and his NeoCon cronies should be hung draw and quartered and fed to the wolves for the disaster he has created.

Br Cornelius

The advice of cowards who would try to arrest and try people who had killed 3000 in a terror attack do not interest most Americans much. When an act of war is taken against a nation they have every right to strike back. But I do agree that Iraq was a mistake and that what is happening today is due in large part to that mistake. But not totally. This schism is ancient and will continue regardless what any modern nation tries to do. I think Bush's adventure simply made it possible for the conflict to arise afresh sooner than it might have otherwise. These guys want a global Caliphate - not just to conquer Iraq. They've made it clear they don't care about the "Sikes/Picot" borders. And they've made it equally clear that Israel is next on their list once the Caliphate is mostly consolidated. Everything happening before that attempt is just prelude to the great war that will ensue.
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Space Commander Travis

The advice of cowards who would try to arrest and try people who had killed 3000 in a terror attack do not interest most Americans much. When an act of war is taken against a nation they have every right to strike back.

But that gives the people in the country that you decide to make war on perfectly justified in striking back at you! Don't you understand that treating something as an act of war gives anything they may choose to do to you subsequently legitimacy? The only possible reason for invading the 'Stan and then Iraq was so that they were seen to be Doing something to satisfy public opinion, however pointless or futile. Not treating it as a criminal act was the most singularly stupid thing that the Bush administration did in its whole and regrettable history.
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Space Commander Travis

And what on earth is "cowardly" about wishing to arrest people responsible for criminal acts?? Does that mean that law enforcement agencies are all cowards for trying to arrest suspects and trying to see that the course of justice is followed, and the proper way to do it would be to shoot suspects on sight, whether or not there was proof that they had actually done what you were shooting them for??

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and then

And what on earth is "cowardly" about wishing to arrest people responsible for criminal acts?? Does that mean that law enforcement agencies are all cowards for trying to arrest suspects and trying to see that the course of justice is followed, and the proper way to do it would be to shoot suspects on sight, whether or not there was proof that they had actually done what you were shooting them for??

Criminals are the domain of law enforcement. Mass murderers for a political cause are engaged in WARFARE. If that difference is lost on you then nothing anyone says will help you with it. These people regularly laugh at the west for our weakness and our laws. I never was comfortable bending a knee to anyone but God.

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Br Cornelius

The US has backed many mass murderers in its time (Pinochet springs to mind) so the justification was entirely other than a concern for human life. We all know it was at the behest of the NeoCon strategy to secure oil reserves. But again we all know how well that part of the plan turned out.

It was a stupid plan by a stupid bunch of fanatics and we may well face a third world war as a consequence of allow stupid people to believe their own rhetoric of invulnerability.

Br Cornelius

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Space Commander Travis

Criminals are the domain of law enforcement. Mass murderers for a political cause are engaged in WARFARE. If that difference is lost on you then nothing anyone says will help you with it. These people regularly laugh at the west for our weakness and our laws. I never was comfortable bending a knee to anyone but God.

So mass murderers are not criminals? That makes no sense. The legitimate grounds for war is when one nation declares war on another (or invades with a view to occupation without going through the formalities first). that's why governments and international law have always drawn a distinction between war and terrorism. Calling it an act of war justifies and legitimizes it, as far as the perpetrators are concerned. Perhaps the only reason that some might not want to classify invading other countries as being a criminal act is because they made a habit of doing it themselves.

And These people regularly laugh at the west for our weakness and our laws means that we should do the same? throw the laws out of the window? No more law, just the law of the gun or the smart bomb or the cruise Missile? So what is it that we're (supposedly) fighting for? To preserve civilisation? But the whole point of civilization is that there are laws. It's a fight for the very survival of the West, so there's not time for niceties like laws? But if we bring ourselves down to (supposedly) their level, what is there left to fight for? It can't even be for the survival of Christianity, since that is based on laws, as we all know. You seem to be arguing that to fight for the survival of civilisation, we have to throw civilisation out of the window.

Edited by Admiral Rhubarb
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