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 The feel-good story of the day is how the Syrian Kurds have fought their way into northern Iraq to help tens of thousands of trapped Yazidis escape from Islamic Jihadist group ISIS. What most people aren't talking about is who these Kurds are.

 Iraqi Kurdish forces are repelling Islamic State advances on the southern side of the mountain, while the evacuation route on the mountain’s northern side is being organized by the fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and its Syrian spinoff, the Popular Protection Units, or YPG. The workers’ party is better known by its Kurdish acronym PKK, and it is designated a terrorist group by the United States.
 If you think its strange that our allies in this military engagement are terrorists, you don't know the half of it.

Terrorist allies

Cemil Bayik, a founding member of the Kurdistan Workers Party
 The Kurdistan Workers Party is a Marxist-Leninist organization that fought a bloody insurgency against the government of Turkey from 1983 to 2013.
   While the fighting between Turkey and the PKK has stopped, the ceasefire is very fragil.
 Accusing Turkey of waging a proxy war against Kurds in Syria by backing rebels fighting them in the north, Bayik told Reuters news agency during an interview on Saturday that the PKK had the right to retaliate.
 The Kurds in Syria have a de facto autonomous region on the Turkish and Iraqi borders. Their region has been isolated from the Assad government by hundreds of miles of ISIS controlled territory.
   The Kurds of Syria have been under constant assault by ISIS and their ally Al-Nusra Front for two years now.
  So if Bayik's claim is true, then Turkey is helping the jihadists to crush the same people who are now rescuing the Yazidi.

  The PKK isn't our only unusual ally against ISIS in Iraq.

 In Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley on Wednesday there was another discreet funeral, but this time for a Hezbollah commander killed in Iraq.
  Hezbollah is the Lebanese terrorist group that Israel fought and failed to defeat in 2006.
   ISIS recently invaded Lebanon and only withdrew after the Lebanese Army reached an agreement with ISIS.

  Another major ally in Iraq against ISIS is Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. They've been one of the primary reasons that the ISIS drive on Baghdad was halted at Samarra.
   Besides supporting President Obama's goal of stopping ISIS, this so-called Axis of Evil allie also wants a change in Iraq's leadership.

 (Reuters) - Regional power broker Iran believes Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is no longer able to hold his country together and is looking for an alternative leader to combat a Sunni Islamist insurgency, senior Iranian officials said on Tuesday.
This is a goal that President Obama shares. Since "senior Quds force commander from the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps now sits shoulder-to-shoulder with Iraq’s top military officers" at top-level government meetings in Baghdad, you would think that reaching out to Iran would help us achieve our objectives.
  However, Iran is still considered by our government a supporter of foreign terrorism and Washington still seeks regime change in Tehran.

   In a ironic twist, two years ago Hillary Clinton removed the MEK from the terrorist list, and the group has fans in Congress. The MEK advocates the overthrown of the Iranian government and is still considered a terrorist group by Tehran.

  So now that we know Iran, Hezbollah, and the PKK are our allies in Iraq.
Who are our enemies other than ISIS?

Terrorist enemies

  Remember that ISIS came out of Syria, where the thinking was "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". Because of that flawed thinking, they had a lot of allies.

 Most of the arms shipped at the behest of Saudi Arabia and Qatar to supply Syrian rebel groups fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad are going to hard-line Islamic jihadists, and not the more secular opposition groups that the West wants to bolster, according to American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats.
   “The opposition groups that are receiving the most of the lethal aid are exactly the ones we don’t want to have it,” said one American official familiar with the outlines of those findings, commenting on an operation that in American eyes has increasingly gone awry.
 So other than possibly Turkey, our enemies in this situation are Saudi Arabia and Qatar. However, before we point fingers we need to consider our own culpability.
 in October we reported evidence indicating that U.S. agents — particularly murdered ambassador Chris Stevens — were at least aware of heavy weapons moving from Libya to jihadist Syrian rebels.
That's October of 2012 when U.S. agents knew that our heavy weapons from Libya were going to jihadists in Syria. Could President Obama have known that we were secretly sending weapons to fanatical jihadist terrorists in Syria?
   Yes. In fact, President Obama approved it last September, a year after we knew this was already happening.
 President Obama waived a provision of federal law designed to prevent the supply of arms to terrorist groups to clear the way for the U.S. to provide military assistance to “vetted” opposition groups fighting Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.
So other than ISIS, who's the bad guys here? Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United States government.
   And who are the good guys? Iran, Hezbollah, and the PKK.
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Comment Preferences

  •  yeesh (18+ / 0-)

    what a friggin' mess.

    Just goes to show that in a powder-keg situation, more gas isn't the right solution.

    Providing arms to anyone for any purpose is starting to look absolutely counter-intuitive. We should re-focus to humanitarian aid only, only ever providing military support when there is evidence of genocide or war crimes  (which, of course, must be verified by multiple credible sources not including our own government. Lets try to learn our lessons from Operation Iraqi Oil (::ahem:: I mean "Freedom")

    •  oops forgot to nest my parantheticals. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jlms qkw, CenPhx, slowbutsure

      boy that gets confusing. I should use brackets next time.

    •  Maybe we can destroy some of the armaments (4+ / 0-)

      that we left behind from the previous war.

      An illusion can never be destroyed directly... SK.

      by Thomas Twinnings on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 04:46:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the problem with that is it creates an... (0+ / 0-)

      ... arms vacuum, which translates to a power vacuum, which translates to more of the same but worse.

      The underlying drivers of all of this shit are population & consumption overshoot of local resources, combined with various ethnic and tribal drives for genetic domination of the local human ecosystems.  Each group wants to grow at the expense of others, and there is nowhere to grow to, so the result is mutual slaughter.

      Ultimately the solution requires sustainable birth rates and sustainable consumption levels, and multicultural societies.  

      Between now and then, holding actions, efforts to minimize bloodshed, and efforts to modernize.  Which also means, military engagements such as the present one, to prevent human rights atrocities on a historic scale.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:57:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Let me clear something up. (12+ / 0-)

      First the PKK and the Syrian Kurds are separate groups. For some reason the western media like to ignore that.

      From the Aljazeera article linked to above:

      PKK threatens to renew fight in Turkey
      Kurdish commander says armed group will resume uprising unless the Turkish government revives peace process soon.

      ...

      Kurdish rebels are ready to re-enter Turkey from northern Iraq, the head of the group's political wing has said.

      The PKK are based in northeastern Iraq - NOT in Syria.

      The PKK has been essentially out of Syria since around 1999.

      And the Washington Post article linked to above is just spouting bullshit:

      Iraqi Kurdish forces are repelling Islamic State advances on the southern side of the mountain, while the evacuation route on the mountain’s northern side is being organized by the fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and its Syrian spinoff, the Popular Protection Units, or YPG.
      Let me correct that:
      Iraqi Kurdish forces are repelling Islamic State advances on the southern side of the mountain, while the evacuation route on the mountain’s northern side is being organized by fighters from Syrian Kurdistan forces, primarily from the Popular Protection Units, or YPG.
      This is a headline from an article by the semi-official Turkish news agency, Anadolu Agency:
      Sinjar District Governor says they are evacuating trapped Ezidis to Syria via a safe corridor opened by Kurdish Pesmerga and YPG forces

      http://www.aa.com.tr/...

      I have seen no mention of PKK activity in the Sinjar area in Tukrish media, not even in Turkish Kurdish media which cover the PKK's activities.

      Western reporting on recent events in Iraq has often been wrong, stupid, and/or really lazy.

      The world is bad enough as it is, you have no right to make it any worse.
      Lamb chop, we can quibble what to call it, but I think we can both agree it's creepy.

      by InAntalya on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:48:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •   I think this is a feature and not a bug (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit

        in what is supposedly our media:

        Western reporting on recent events in Iraq has often been wrong, stupid, and/or really lazy.
        Various entities have worked very very very hard to achieve this end.

        ALL of our institutions have been hollowed out by the greed ethos. There are none left with heart intact or souls for that matter. So the zombie is all around us - me

        by glitterscale on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 07:26:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  All true, however (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aliasalias

        still irrelevant to the overall point of my diary.

         My point is that we are both allies and enemies with groups that we've labeled as terrorists.
          The Syrian and Iraqi kurdish groups, simply be being associated with the PKK (which they are) are terrorist groups according to Washington. (just like the PJAK in Iran, which, ironically, we support)

        "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

        by gjohnsit on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:15:52 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  OT: grammar/spelling police (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bmaples, maryabein, on the cusp, CenPhx, Smoh

    'ally' and not 'allie,' no? Trivial point but jarring to read.


    A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

    by Jim P on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 02:28:01 PM PDT

  •  "Terrorist" has lost its meaning (36+ / 0-)

    ... in that part of the world, from overuse.  Every group fighting an established government is automatically "terrorist," because of the tactics such groups inevitably are forced to use.  So when you have a real terrorist group like ISIL, the overuse of terminology obscures the reality.

    If memory serves, the PKK got its original support from the old Soviet Union before its demise, because it was fighting our allies the Turks.  I believe it has renounced its Marxist-Leninist views after its leader was jailed.  Turkey views the Kurds approximately like the Union viewed the Confederacy during our Civil War, since they want to take almost half the country away.  Our support for Kurdish forces in Iraq has not endeared us to the Turks.

    This part of the world is like quicksand:  the more we struggle there, the more mired we get.  I'm coming to believe the only solution is to get out and let them fight amongst themselves.  We need to focus on minimizing the blowback from the stupid things we've already done.

    I stand with triv33. Shame on her attackers.

    by Dallasdoc on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 02:29:35 PM PDT

    •  I can't agree more. (11+ / 0-)

      Seriously dallasdoc.

      And we definitely shouldn't be express shipping arms to anyone in the region, because, invariably, they end up in the hands of terrorists and despots.

      But, as you know, there is much too much money to be made in arms peddling in the middle east to quit now! Lives be damned -- daddy needs a new yacht.

      Blech.

    •  Beheading, stoning, suicide bombing and other (17+ / 0-)

      ...atrocities are the underfunded army's "shock and awe".  The US style is satuaration bombing.  The object is the same--terrorize people into surrendering without a fight.  The result are just as brutal, and the technological shock and awe produces many more casualties.  So many that there is little propaganda value to the US in documenting each and every one.

      If it wasn't inhumane, troops would not need to be trained to do it.  Or to have constructed elaborate mythologies to justify it.

      War is politics by other means, says Clauswitz.  That means that war is finally a failure of politicians to do their jobs.  Our easy rush to war suits only those addicted to their blood lust.

      50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

      by TarheelDem on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 03:08:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Are you referring to ISIS or to Saudi Arabia? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit, lotlizard, G2geek, YucatanMan

        Except for the bombings, which the Saudis do finance indirectly, Saudi justice includes all of the other punishments.  Perversely, at auction last year, I acquired an executioner's sword which was presented to a US diplomat to the UAE after being used to execute a criminal.  That part of the world is swift and brutal in its justice where the US would prefer to lock a guy in a box for 30 years with no human contact to show how much more humane we are

        •  I was referring to an number of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          blueoasis, G2geek

          ...groups commonly referred to as terrorists in their operations in war zones.  ISIS is the latest to be used for outrage amplification.

          My emphasis in this case is that it is a tactic used to spead their advance.

          What studies have shown is that swiftness and surety of justice is more deterrent than brutality of justice.

          I suppose the gift to the diplomat served the purpose of involving the diplomat, who could not refuse it, in the responsibility for the brutality.  Or was it a friendly warning about the limits of diplomatic immunity?

          50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

          by TarheelDem on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 04:21:46 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I have no idea; while the auction house (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TarheelDem, G2geek

            provided the provenance, the family is mum about the circumstances outside of the bare bones of the details of the event.

            It appears the Saudi form of Sharia would be very effective then as it is most assuredly swift and sure as well as brutal.  However the argument can be made that some regimes are terroristic  themselves  as they terrorize their citizens and their neighbors such as Pol Pot, Idi Amin, Gaddafi, and well, you know the list...........    

        •  thereby demonstrating that our diplomats... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SoCalSal

          ... have to have nerves of steel and an absolutely extraordinary capacity for defusing situations that would make most of us go stark staring screaming bonkers.

          We got the future back. Uh-oh.

          by G2geek on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:05:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You have too much.... (0+ / 0-)

          ...money if that is what you do with it.

          We Glory in war, in the shedding of human blood. What fools we are.

          by delver rootnose on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 10:23:48 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  That is true (7+ / 0-)
       I believe it has renounced its Marxist-Leninist views after its leader was jailed.
       They changed their self-designation to "libertarian socialist", which is another term for "democratic anarchist".

      "The oppressors most powerful weapon is the mind of the oppressed." - Stephen Biko

      by gjohnsit on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 03:32:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Actually (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        lotlizard, PeteZerria, gjohnsit

        ...the term "democratic anarchist" isn't really a term anyone in the movement would likely use, although I know what you mean.  Some anarchists (but by no means all) reject the term "democracy" altogether, since it tends to mean top-down representational democracy, and statism, rather than the high degree of horizontality and respect for individual liberty of anarchism. But I do use the term, but simply mean the more fair and egalitarian form of anarchist free association.

        I'm reading a history of anarchism at the moment whose author makes this case, and he loathes what most people think of as democracy.

        Libertarian socialism is really just a synonym for anarchism, since it was anarchists of all stripes who began using the term interchangeably throughout the literature going back to the mid 1800's. And anarchists don't tend to attach an appendage to the term anarchism, unless differentiating between types of anarchism, (for example anarcho-communism, anarcho-collectivism, social anarchism, individual anarchism, anarcho-syndicalism) all of which are based on egalitarianism, equality, anti-capitalism, and no wage-labor. All are "democratic" so that doesn't need to be said, but it is democracy that is far more reluctant to impose any form of unjustified coercion or authority over individuals.

        "Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Michael Bakunin (Economic Left/Right: -10.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.79)

        by ZhenRen on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 06:34:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The Kurds call it (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lotlizard, gjohnsit

          Democratic Confederalism, which is based on Bookchin's ideas of communalism, a branch of libertarian socialism.

          Bookchin split from anarchism, devising a new related form called communalism. It is still anarchistic... but with some modifications.

          "Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Michael Bakunin (Economic Left/Right: -10.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.79)

          by ZhenRen on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 06:54:21 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I don't mean to be a pesk on definitions (0+ / 0-)

        I tend to offer a more comprehensive view on this when the opportunity arises, because readers here are really, really confused about this, as I'm sure you've noticed.

        I should write a diary on the topic, but at the moment would rather hold off for personal reasons.

        "Liberty without socialism is privilege, injustice; socialism without liberty is slavery and brutality." - Michael Bakunin (Economic Left/Right: -10.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -9.79)

        by ZhenRen on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 06:38:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  that's preferable to religious fanatic. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gjohnsit

        Presumably this group is more secular than some of them?

        In which case, rational people we can make rational agreements with.

        The key to that distinction is: death-averse ideologies, vs. martyrdom ideologies.  

        We got the future back. Uh-oh.

        by G2geek on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:07:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  terrorist has become meaningless around (7+ / 0-)

      the world as we willy nilly label every anti-government movement as terrorist if we happen to support that government.
      It was my understanding that our interventions in the ME was to stabilize the region and democratize the nations there (OK OK, stop laughing at me.)  However we do that by propping up various dictators, monarchs and generals.  For a generality, it seems the countries that enjoy the least US interference in their affairs seem to be more stable.

      One problem is our commitment to various regimes in the area, regardless of our own long term interests.  A second problem is the Saudi fight to maintain a proxy war against Iran.  So far, Saudi interference has destabilized whichever  country they are involved in and has unleashed fundamentalist religious fanaticism across two continents

    •  How about we call people who kill people for (8+ / 0-)

      policy results "Terrorists".

      That will make it much easier.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 04:17:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Good point. He certainly grabbed dived into that (7+ / 0-)

      quagmire with enthusiasm, didn't he?

      BTW, the word has never had any meaning. The terrorist label has been slapped on every force that fought established power for centuries. According to the British Parliament, the U.S. was founded by terrorists.

      "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities." - Voltaire

      by Greyhound on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 06:05:05 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  problem with that is, it spills over. (0+ / 0-)

      Letting the cats in a sack tear each other to shreds sounds fine so long as they stay in the sack.

      9/11 and 7/7 demonstrated that they don't stay in the sack.

      See also the Moore's Law curve for genetic technology and the growing ease of making & unleashing a plague.  

      Bottom line is, civilization is "not optional" in a world where any asshole with a grudge can build a highly contagious lethal virus in a shed.

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:00:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The neoLibCon agenda's divorce from reality (16+ / 0-)

    grows more plain every day. I think bombing we've heard of today of IS forces surrounding the Yazidis was something the US was backed into: It's already hard enough to believe all this shit we see in our foreign policy and at home is about "terrorism" and 'security" when you have genuine genocidal jihadis, massed at depots and camps and for battle, roaming about freely for over a year now, and nobody in our Security Establishment does shit about it.

    We're still working on that old, lunatic plan, of getting rid of the enemies from the last half of the 20th Century (and Russia and China are on that list too) while in reality our "War Formerly Known as On Terror" has produced real threats to humanity; and in the long run directly to US security.

    Hope somebody in DC can catch up to reality (and not just in War but in Economics and Functioning Democracy as well) before it's all down the crapper.


    A government is a body of people usually notably ungoverned. -- Firefly

    by Jim P on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 02:34:49 PM PDT

  •  Marxists better than Islamists (10+ / 0-)

    Gripe about LOTE all you want ...
    Also, Kurds deserve a State as much or more than Palestinians.

  •  PKK is not terrorist (8+ / 0-)

    That's the label the Turks put on them.  Not every independence group is terrorist.

    "When dealing with terrorism, civil and human rights are not applicable." Egyptian military spokesman.

    by Paleo on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 02:45:52 PM PDT

  •  actually your wrong, PKK is Turkish Kurds & (5+ / 0-)

    not involved

    The syrian kurds are affiliated with PKK but are not PKK

  •  As it has always been.... (14+ / 0-)

    Lord Palmerston:

    Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests.
    The US should have followed old enemy Russia's lead last year and helped prop up Assad and renormalize relations with Iran.  That would have (and did even with our waffling) aggravated the Saudis and their allies but it would have restore a temporary stability to the region.  But then, the PNAC plan was to create chaos and manipulate the chaos into greater US hegemony.  That was madness in 2001; it remains madness; nonetheless it is the basis of the US Ukraine policy.  Syria-Iraq policy is more complicated because of the Arab Spring origins and the R2P folks in the White House and CIA working a "soft power" agenda that is not soft at all.

    One fact that the US media has missed is the fact that Maliki is effectively a caretaker government until the parties that won the most votes in the April election arrive at a coalition.  It is not in Maliki's interest to move that process along because he took for himself the national defense, intelligence, and homeland security portfolios after the last election--essentially consolidating hard power into his personal hands.  That has alienated Sunnis and Kurds and not a few Shi'a parties.  And effective resolution of this post-election stalemate could take the political wind from the sails of the Islamic State radicals as Sunni parties return to the government.  But there would have to be some strong guarantees of equal political participation and respect for human rights all around for that to happen and years of dictatorship and the US war have reduce trust in negotiations.

    The wider issue involves similar political guarantees in Turkish politics and in Syria.  Politicized Islam in Turkey must accommodate to Kurdish aspirations for at least more autonomy.  Syrian Sunnis will not go back to being second-class citizens nor will Syrian Alewites, Christians, and other sects feel comfortable with a regime of Salafist Sunni theocrats.  There are a lot of deferred and hotly politicized issues there and too many politicians and miltary-trained men seeking a quick way to power through demagoging them.

    For the US to persist in its own traditional hatreds and not bring about rapprochement with Iran and Russia means that US intervention complicates the issue politically.  If there are US national security and foreign policy advisers still under the illusion that the US can bulldoze its way to it prefered solution in this situation, they owe the country the courtesy of resigning now before they do more serious damage.

    And for Hugh Shelton and the pro-MEK lobby to start their bleating about Iran is counterproductive in the extreme.  This is one time that partisan domestic politics in the US by Republicans and bought-off Democrats can seriously damage the long-term interests of the American people.

    Destroying even more infrastructure will not bring back prosperity.  Especially when the global elites are pumping austerity worldwide.

    Of course we will flip enemies to friends and vice versa as situations change.  But what we need to do very soon is stop a minute and clarify just what permanent interests we are serving in all of the bigfooting around the world.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 03:01:45 PM PDT

    •  Howard Dean shilling for the MEK: seriously, WTF? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mickT, aliasalias

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war. ♥ ♥ ♥ Forget Neo — The One is Minori Urakawa

      by lotlizard on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:46:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You put the real in realpolitik (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      aliasalias

      I think your analysis is spot on. PNAC "democracy" kills, maims, and impoverishes way more people than it liberates... and it's bipartisan. Bloody hands reaching across the aisle.

      (If it's a choice between Clinton II and some rethug, look for the same movie with Spanish subtitles and shot on location in Honduras, Venezuela, Cuba, etc. They just can't stop liberating "folks"...)

      The Village consensus pretty much paints them into a corner on Syria, Iran, and Ukraine. It would take some really clever, not to mention brave, diplomacy to fix that... so maybe not...

      The genie is out of the bottle.

      If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers. - Thomas Pynchon

      by chuckvw on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:25:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Too bad Bush couldn't have read this diary in 2002 (7+ / 0-)

    It would have increased his knowledge of the region by at least 300%.

    "The Democrats and the Republicans are equally corrupt where money is concerned. It's only in the amount where the Republicans excel." ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 03:09:38 PM PDT

  •  the US government is not unanimous (10+ / 0-)

    there are those who ally with the gulf monarchies and saudis and see iran as their enemy and who prefer dictators and kings to elected governments, and there are those who are inching away from gulf monarchies/saudis and warming up towards iran and who tend to prefer elected governments over dictators and kings. i see former sec. clinton in the former camp, and obama in the latter camp. i see israel being strongly aligned with the former as well, and believe that this is a significant part of their vitriolic disdain for the obama admin.

    it's a weird moment in history, to be sure. a lot of old alignments are in the middle of changing, and many of the big geopolitical players have proponents of multiple alignments battling it out internally. i would not be surprised if our foreign alliances look radically different in a decade or two.

    for all the crap obama has taken, i actually find his foreign policy approach to be fairly reasonable, by US foreign policy standards. i think it's important to remember that he is only one player in his administration and the us government, and not able to dictate unilaterally to the degree that other presidents have been able to, in other cases like this.

  •  It's like a Steven King novel (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, Kentucky DeanDemocrat

    The quirky little shop with the sign,

    you break it, you buy it.
    The Iraq plate slipped from our fingers and it exploded into a thousand fragments. Every time we try to walk away from the broken plate-  the shop pulls us back to deal with the mess  And every time we are forced to return, the price to buy the plate gets steeper.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 03:44:12 PM PDT

  •  and of course there's Assad in Syria (5+ / 0-)

    Isis is the principal force fighting Assad in Syria, so the more we weaken Isis, the more we're bolstering Assad - while at the same time we're claiming to support that rare breed (extinct?) of "vetted moderate rebels" in Syria against Assad...

    so, in Iraq we're lined up with Iraq, Syria and Iran against Isis (and their hatching  sponsors Saudi and Qatar)

    but, in Syria we're lined up with Isis (and their hatching sponsors Saudi and Qatar) against Syria, Iraq and Iran

    I hope that Isis is wiped out as soon as possible...

    We're shocked by a naked nipple, but not by naked aggression.

    by Lepanto on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 03:49:25 PM PDT

  •  no good options (9+ / 0-)

    Assad, Saddam, and Mubarak were the 'moderate Arabs' who kept the lid on the fanatics.     oops

       

  •  Weapons Libya to Syria (4+ / 0-)

    The Red Line and the Rat Line - Seymour Hersh
    http://www.lrb.co.uk/...

    The only reason the 1% are rich is because the 99% agree they are.

    by GreatLakeSailor on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:51:55 PM PDT

  •  So other than ISIS, who's the bad guys here? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, aliasalias
    Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United States government.

    And who are the good guys?

    Iran, Hezbollah, and the PKK.

    As the world turns.......

    _______________The DOD/ War Department, which consumes 22% of the national budget, is the world's largest employer with 3.2 million employees.

    by allenjo on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:41:21 PM PDT

  •  Al-Qaeda could end up being our ally (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PeteZerria, gjohnsit, aliasalias

    Who would have thought.  They split with ISIS because ISIS was too radical.  And now this;

    Fighters abandoning al-Qaeda affiliates to join Islamic State, U.S. officials say

    U.S. spy agencies have begun to see groups of fighters abandoning al-Qaeda affiliates in Yemen and Africa to join the rival Islamist organization that has seized territory in Iraq and Syria and been targeted in American airstrikes, U.S. officials said.

    The movements are seen by U.S. ­counterterrorism analysts as a worrisome indication of the expanding appeal of a group known as the Islamic State that has overwhelmed military forces in the region and may now see itself in direct conflict with the United States.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action. UID: 9742

    by Shockwave on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 08:47:58 PM PDT

  •  Genocide (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, aliasalias
    U.S. warplanes bombed Islamist fighters marching on Iraq's Kurdish capital on Friday after President Barack Obama said Washington must act to prevent "genocide".
    The term Genocide , which has been very loosely used by people on the site to  is actually a loaded term that according to one article, most Presidents will do contortions to avoid using it.  Once a head of state declares Genocide then  under the Convention of the Prevention and Punishment of the crime of Genocide, it creates an obligation to use ALL means to intervene to stop it, presumably until the "threat" (scare quotes because it really comes down to who is defining the action as a genocide) is eliminated.

    See below

    Under the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, that could be considered enough to trigger an obligation under international law to intervene to prevent a genocide from occurring.
    By using the term, this Military Intervention in Iraq could go way beyond what we are seeing now.

    Obviously POTUS understands what both he and Kerry did by invoking the term, but I don't think many average people don't since it is used very loosely by people here on this site to describe other conflicts.

    The bottom line is  the pronouncement of the term means war and  much more of it to come. The potential for mission creep is huge.

    “ Success has a great tendency to conceal and throw a veil over the evil of men. ” — Demosthenes

    by Dburn on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 09:54:32 PM PDT

  •  I see... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit

    my Ron Paul friend is already trying to say ISIS isn't all that bad.

    FRIENDS! PLEASEEE fact check your claims before you believe every single appeal to authority from unverified news headlines that the government decides to propagandize us with every day. I knew there had to be a whole lot of misinformation and propaganda going on when I first heard about the US trying to start bombing Iraq (which will then lead them into Syria) again and when I started seeing things like "ISIS (they're call themselves The Islamic State now, btw) is beheading children" I knew something fishy was up.

    This picture from the thumbnail of the video has been circulating around the internet with news headlines stating this little Christian girl was forced into marriage and that children are being beheaded. Want to see what she was actually doing? Watch the video. She was reciting lines from the Quran and started crying in the process. This is how propaganda and consent for wars are manufactured people. This is literally the same false appeal to emotion type propaganda that gained the manufactured consent to start bombing Iraq the first two times. These are the same people who lied to the entire world on completely made up pretexts in order to bomb Iraq in the first place. Did the last 25 years of blatant lies from the US government not prove to you that bombing Iraq only makes matters worse?

    https://www.youtube.com/...

    OK, fine.  ISIS isn't beheading children.  Though I haven't seen that from the major news sources yet.  Interesting that he doesn't want to acknowledge the horrific things ISIS has been doing and openly bragging about with their own gruesome videos they post online.

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