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The story we are getting from corporate MSM does not match up with ISIS defeats in Iraq. ISIS got slaughtered in a major battle at Samarra that was reported widely abroad. But U.S. media dropped the story completely. This may have to do with Iranian presence at Samarra. MSM continue to support George Bush putting Iran on his "Axis of Evil" list during the 2002 State of the Union address. He did that despite that Iran was then offering to put 20,000 troops into Afghanistan to help us fight the Taliban. MSM find it difficult to admit that George W. was a malicious failure.

Iran is now a U.S. ally with 6,000 troops on the ground in Iraq fighting ISIS.

As of today we are both in a shooting war against ISIS in Iraq. Iran is also fighting ISIS in Syria. The levels of commitment from the two nations are markedly different as you would expect. Still, the Iranian efforts have inflicted critical damage on ISIS. The battle at Samarra ended with destruction of one of ISIS's experienced attack groups.

ISIS is Not an Army

ISIS had a string of successes beginning in the first weeks of June. Their tactics are described in Small Wars Journal, quoted at TPM:

(ISIS holds) two force multipliers – suicide bombers and a psychological force multiplier called TSV – Terror Shock Value. TSV is the projected belief (or reality) that the terror force that you are opposing will do anything to defeat you and once defeated will do the same to your family, friends and countrymen. TSV for ISIL is the belief that they will blow themselves up, they will capture and decapitate you and desecrate your body because they are invincible with what the Pakistanis call Jusbah E Jihad “Blood Lust for Jihad”.
Helluva combo going against amateurs. The U.S. and Iran are fighting ISIS with professionals.

Iran has two battalions of high level troops on the ground in Iraq. That makes for 6,000 soldiers in combat roles. Iran also supports Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH), similar to their Hizb Allah allies in Lebanon/Syria. These Iraqi-Iranian troops engage ISIS raiders in daily actions.


Tikrit and Samarra are the critical cities up north 100 miles on Route 1 from Baghdad. On Thursday, August 7th, ISIS tried to attack Samarra and the al-Askari Shrine with two combined arms attacks: suicide bombers, raiders with AKs, and 20mm heavy machine guns in force. That is the same force structure ISIS used to take Mosul and achieve initial success at Tikrit back June 11 to 15.

Solid perimeter defense at Samarra disrupted the ISIS plan. The result of this battle resembled the 2012 Battle of Qusayr in Syria. ISIS lost 80 raiders at the city gates and another 250+ back up country to a later counterattack. No prisoners. That was the entire attacking force. This Battle of Samarra (an update to earlier reporting) notes that this had been a very strong unit of the ISIS invasion force.

BBC reported incorrectly that ISIS had taken the city's mosques and approached the Golden Mosque, al-Askari. Suicide bombers had infiltrated and caused casualties inside the city, but the ISIS ground assault forces were stopped at two of the city gate check points. Shia militiamen at the checkpoints stopped the multi-vehicle ISIS attack. Then Qods Force and Iraqi Army commandos counterattacked and wiped out the ISIS attackers. Apparently ISIS expected the first invaders to overrun defenders, leaving a free path for a follow-up invasion force. That invasion force was caught out in open country and destroyed with artillery and light armored vehicles with cannons.

So much for Terror Shock Value.


Up 260 kilometers to the north, United States drone assets set up attacks that blunted an ISIS advance on Erbil and the Kurds. President Obama described his use of drones as "protection of American citizens" which looks more like the start of an all out drone war to local observers.

Iranian-supported ground forces can eliminate ISIS raiders at large sites when they are attacked. August's high temperatures prevent them from going out to chase the smaller ISIS pickup truck units; those operations will have to wait for September. The American aerial systems reach out over the whole of Northern Iraq. At this point the Shia force has had to rely on SU-25 fixed wing aircraft and helicopters to provide air power. That is not what you want to use against ISIS to run aerial surveys. ISIS has large numbers of 20mm and 23mm anti-aircraft guns mounted on their pickup trucks.

The United States drones run surveys. When they find ISIS force concentrations, they can call in F/A-18 fighter-bombers flown from aircraft carriers and bases to the south in other Arab countries. The manned planes carry much heavier ordinance than drones. F/A-18 strikes can eliminate whole groups of truck-borne ISIS attackers.

Overall, using the drones is similar to blasting pirates in the 17th Century. Find the brigands and bring in your big guns.

U.S. drones fly out of known bases in Qatar and northern Saudi Arabia. You have to assume that Kuwait is participating and the Turks with a base in eastern Turkey. (The known base at Incirlik, Turkey is too far to the west to be of practical use for Iraq.)

One of two series of strikes was announced by the Pentagon yesterday. Here's one official statement:

August 08, 2014
Statement by Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby on Airstrikes in Iraq

At approximately 6:45 a.m. EDT, the U.S. military conducted a targeted airstrike against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists.

Two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil. ISIL was using this artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending Erbil where U.S. personnel are located.

The decision to strike was made by the U.S. Central Command commander under authorization granted him by the commander in chief.

As the president made clear, the United States military will continue to take direct action against ISIL when they threaten our personnel and facilities.

Not bad. They're using a Rear Admiral for a press flack.

Follow-up info on the drones covered two strikes. One hit a convoy of trucks. The other took out mortars firing on Erbil. The hits called in F/A-18 carrier-based fighter-bombers to deliver the ordinance.

Operation TTF Stomper

"Sandbox" is mil-slang for simulation work. Use standard effectiveness and sustainability characteristics for your assets based on field experience. Apply Monte Carlo techniques. Try out options. Analyze what a full drone campaign can do.

The "TTF" is Toyota Task Force. ISIS likes diesel Toyotas. No connection with Trff Bmzklfrpz, dictator of Berzerkistan.

Go for a full-resource model with cooperation among anti-ISIS forces. An optimized drone campaign could be expected to take out a couple dozen ISIS trucks and support vehicles a day. Thankfully the trucks that carry the 20mm and 23mm anti-aircraft cannons are easy to identify.

-- Combine drone surveillance with human-eyeballs-and-glass contact spotting. Support for spotters goes to 20x80 binoculars, low-detection radios, and GPS mappers. Expand spotting work beyond U.S. Special Forces.

-- Hit single targets with drone ordinance.

-- Call in F/A-18s for big clusters. In a change from today's U.S. procedures, connect up with the Iraqi and Iranian SU-25s for ISIS clusters where the use of the U.S. "smart bombs" is not critical. The SU-25s achieve a 30-minute takeoff-to-target time. The SU-25s give visual identification results far superior to doing visuals from the faster F/A-18s. Additionally, based on simulations, flying A-10 Warthogs for these missions would give anti-ISIS forces extraordinary advantages.

-- Coordinate drone surveillance info with local artillery units. Give the locals the GPS spotting data. That process is obvious. What is needed today goes to language skills, arranging contacts, and providing the right radios. As of last Friday this was not in place for the Kurds or for the Samarra-Tikrit force.

Play well with others.

A good two-thirds of the combat force that ISIS brought into Iraq can be removed from the board within a couple months. One of the great human plagues of the 21st Century can be rendered impotent.

Overall the U.S. has an advantage that we have a great Commander in Chief. We can state this without qualification. It's in the numbers.

Consider terrorism: after losses of 675, 444, and 3,206 lives with Reagan/Clinton/Bush43 for Americans and guests at our embassies, Obama has lost a grand total of 10 people. Really, 10. That's the 3 at Boston, 3 at the Algerian gas plant, and 4 at Benghazi. Earlier POTUS efforts at counterterrorism against Islamists look puny compared to what Obama has achieved.

And now quietly the President can move to destroy ISIS. Talk of defending American citizens in the Kurd areas is good for PR. Expect to hear next to nothing through the next three months as the drones are used to wreck ISIS.

The Persians have a great general running the operations at Samarra and Tikrit. This is the strategic spear point. This general beat ISIS in Syria; he's beating them in Iraq. Losing 330 experienced raiders at Samarra last week was a disaster for ISIS as those resources cannot be replaced in the short term.

Ultimately the ISIS losses in Iraq will impact their prospects in Syria. A predominately Shia force looks to be forming up to counterattack out of Samarra in September or early October when daily temperatures fall out of the 100F to 110F range. They have hundreds of heavy guns and know how to use them.

ISIS captured maybe 10% of U.S. supplied materials but they have little training. They have no idea how to maintain complex systems.

The Shia order of battle will be limited by logistics: as many as 50,000 Qods Force from Iran, 200,000 Iraqi Army, and 500,000 Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq and volunteer militiamen. It was mostly a militiaman force that crushed ISIS at Samarra.

The Shia counterattack could continue on all the way north to the Syrian border with Turkey. There is nothing ISIS will be able to do militarily to stop them.


Republicans ??? The complainers? Their guy McCain went off and had his picture taken with some live-in-Turkey CIA employees. "Moderate Rebels." Too bad it wasn't a selfie.

Originally posted to waterstreet2008 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:14 AM PDT.

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  •  Tip Jar (152+ / 0-)
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    doc2, chuck utzman, Timaeus, native, cotterperson, rasbobbo, PeteZerria, babaloo, radarlady, ichibon, kartski, Lepanto, Gary Norton, Tunk, Ekaterin, mr crabby, agnostic, Nulwee, Thinking Fella, bear83, Cat Whisperer, Wreck Smurfy, TomP, VelvetElvis, wayoutinthestix, FG, bobatkinson, ronnied, joe from Lowell, T Maysle, ladasue, ZedMont, pajoly, Susipsych, thomask, CoyoteMarti, DEMonrat ankle biter, Pinto Pony, HamptonRoadsProgressive, Proteus7, Upie, Drocedus, Smoh, CwV, Richard Villiers, spooks51, Crabby Abbey, Tony Situ, randallt, rustypatina, lorell, GAS, Egalitare, hillpeople, majcmb1, Andrew F Cockburn, LarisaW, OIL GUY, letsgetreal, wigwam, PeterHug, oxfdblue, Tailfish, cocinero, oldliberal, eOz, Dave in AZ, side pocket, buffie, annominous, TomFromNJ, TakeSake, petestern, 2thanks, pimutant, Overseas, buffan, antooo, Involuntary Exile, Paul Ferguson, sunbro, Notreadytobenice, laughingRabbit, billybam, VTCC73, susakinovember, Farradin, kevinpdx, jhop7, IndieGuy, Dems in 08, Rashaverak, caliberal2001, eagleray, delver, mosesfreeman, mookins, Zinman, Sapere aude, AverageJoe42, lcrp, martini, Alex Budarin, Shrew in Shrewsbury, triplepoint, BarackStarObama, gmats, k9disc, Clytemnestra, oldpotsmuggler, Habitat Vic, Bluehawk, Colorado is the Shiznit, Brian82, peacestpete, DaveinBremerton, deepeco, ChemBob, rapala, myrmecia gulosa, auron renouille, capelza, Glen The Plumber, profundo, La Gitane, dotsright, warprof, Denise Oliver Velez, Shockwave, psnyder, citizen dan, enhydra lutris, pollbuster, gramofsam1, dmhlt 66, lordcopper, subtropolis, DavidMS, YankInUK, ParkRanger, The Lone Apple, sfarkash, eeff, Rosaura, artmartin, 207wickedgood, hbk, jasan, virginislandsguy, G2geek, ColoTim, dotdash2u
  •  Once summer is over a concerted campaign by (5+ / 0-)

    Iraq, Syria and Iran will wipe out Isis. If in the meanwhile US air attacks destroy Isis heavy equipment (artillery, tanks...) thereby weakening it considerably, all the better.

    If our mates Saudi and Qatar, who hatched Isis by fostering the Islamist extremists in Syria who morphed into Isis, are pissed off by our in effect cooperating with Syria, Iraq and Iran, I shan't complain.

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

    by Lepanto on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 06:29:20 AM PDT

  •  It's almost like the Peshmerga, Syrian Kurds, (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    skillet, waterstreet2008, native, CenPhx

    and Iraqi military don't exist.

    USA! USA! USA! (and a little Iran!)


    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 06:50:27 AM PDT

    •  The Iraqi miltary have been getting some bad (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      press lately...if you have anything good to say about them I am all ears....seriously.

      •  IA was ordered to disperse at Mosul. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        The Sunni population rose up against them, favoring ISIS. Little did those locals know what was going to happen.

        The alternative would have been a blood bath.

        IA is competent at the unit level. Officers, maybe not so much.

      •  The Iraqi military was created by the US. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        skillet, native, Smoh

        Did the US want a strong competent force?

        No. Why?
        - The US did not want to establish a strong competent Iraqi military force that would probably be under a more independent Shia majority government in the future.
        - The US also did not want a strong military force that might decide they were strong enough to challenge the US occupation and/or overthrow the Iraqi government.
        - Saudi Arabia does not want a strong competent Iraqi military.
        - The Kurdistan Regional Government does not want a strong competent Iraqi military.

        Did that US need a cash cow to use to funnel huge amounts of money to weapons sellers and private military contractors?


        Did that US need a way to funnel money to certain people in Iraq to pay them off and keep them quiet?


        Did the US need a way to keep a lot of young Iraqi men busy and provide them with a salary?


        And during the past three or so years the Iraqi government was only able to make minor changes to the system the US established and imposed.

        This is how and why the Iraqi military came to be as it was two months ago.

        But a funny thing happened on ISIS(IS)'s march into Mosul.

        A good number of Iraqis and Iraqi soldiers decided that they actually did want the Iraqi military to be an effective force able to defend their country.

        And the Iraqi military began to evolve. It's evolution isn't finished yet, but it is becoming a more effective force day by day.

        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 07:53:43 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  If you follow through with this logic, (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          the USA does not want Iran to bring in a strong fighting force that might challenge US interests, either.  Yet the forced withdrawal (due to Bush's failure to secure an agreement, not Obama's desire to withdraw) left the country in exactly that position.

          Ergo, it was to the USA's strategic advantage to do to Iran what Iran did to the USA all during the occupation, that is fund a semi-professional gang of 'terrorists' to harass them and make them seem ineffective. Saudi Arabia likely supports the same goal, but for sectarian religious reasons, as the Iraq/Iran coalition is shutting out the Sunni minority.

          I conclude that the state actors most likely arming and supporting ISIS are: Saudi Arabia and the USA (through whatever channels the CIA is using these days).  A minor drone strike on a couple of positions makes for great PR, humanitarian talking points, whatever.  Or perhaps they really were threatening some CIA outpost.  But I do not expect the USA to follow the playbook outlined in this diary.  No one running the show in the USA has ever given one good goddamn for human rights and torture and any other crimes against humanity, I don't see why they will start now.  Coincidentally, the ISIS strategy seems to follow the 'School of the Americas' playbook.  I suspect the same tired old a-holes that stirred up trouble in Central America are back in action...

          190 milliseconds....

          by Kingsmeg on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:31:38 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I guess you deduce that from the (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          waterstreet2008, auron renouille

          disbanding of the military and removal of all Bathists, do you have other evidence? I mean it was a colossal error, but not unheard of and considering the hatred of those opposed, not out of the question.

          Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

          by the fan man on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 02:58:23 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  It's all about Obama (3+ / 0-)

      everyone else are just extras in this play.


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

      by gjohnsit on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:36:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Unfortunately, the Peshmerga, (5+ / 0-)

      other Kurdish fighting forces, and the Iraqi army were impotent against ISIS's tactics and their TSV. They needed our help, plain and simple. And we're helping.

      •  i am not so sure (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in Syria, one has to say, the Kurds (those who InAntalya calls YPG - it seems to mean something the same like the "autodefensas" in Michoacan - they have been standing their ground for years now. Without the US.

        What is a state in these regions? How are these "YPG" running their affairs internally? They must have affiars. If they are holding out then they must provide some order in their areas, how is this organized? This is something, if InAntalya could explain that, that might be instructive for people.

        •  The Syrian Kurds administer the areas under their (6+ / 0-)

          control as best they can under difficult conditions.

          They have police forces, courts, schools, and hospitals.

          And they try to keep banks open, and telephone service, electricity, and water services running.


          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 Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:17:34 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah :) The Djinn, called, responds :) (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            InAntalya, waterstreet2008, KenBee

            (I always wanted to be the ghost in the lamp, coming out when rubbed, otherwise being in a state that no man can know)

            Well, you describe essential services. thats good. My curiosity is I think rather on how their politics works. is it paternalistic - elders of units having unquestioned authority - as e. g. of villages or clans?  Is it representative in some way - realistic "elections", or selections, of representatives to some gremium? Who makes their policies, they must have policies .. that is what I wondered. Being self organized they must be popular but that can mean anything - I assume they are not just brute force based.

            I wonder this because I wonder the same about IS. They too, beyond being barbarians, must have some form of policy making and decision making structure. They must be based on some organisation that sets and debates aims and ideas.

            I wonder this because shooting is ultimately not interesting. Peace will come only when political desires of people are, in some way, met, or sufficiently stifled. So how do the ISIS make politics, and how do the others, that I would like to know.

            It was easy to relate to the factions of the Spanish Civil War. Their names said what these factions were about. In the MidEast, I have no intention to acclaim or oppose anyone based on some faith and I have no allegiance on ethnics either, so if I hear that the Kurds and the Caliphate are fighting, that tells me very little.

             there is generally too much focus on the shooting (even if that is dramatic) and too litle focus on knowing about the people ... thats why I ask. Hm, and now I crawl back under my rock.

            •  to answer myself (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              InAntalya, waterstreet2008, KenBee, G2geek

              when one doesnt know something, one can also look it up instead of pestering strangers ...

              in November 2013 representatives from Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian and other smaller minorities declared a de facto government in the region (Syrish Kurdistan).
              Leaders of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) announced an interim government on Tuesday for the Kurdish areas of Syria, the group’s official website reported. ...

              “We worked on the Democratic Union Party’s (PYD) project that makes Rojava into three autonomous areas of Afrin, Kobane and Jazira,” Hakam Khalo, a member of the interim government told Hawar News. ...

              The interim government gives a great degree of independence to each area to run local affairs and allows official representatives in the government.

              “The main function of the regional assemblies is to design a regional election law, prepare for elections, but also to debate political, security and economic issues,” Khalo noted.

              He said an executive body for the Transitional Administration has been established, composed of 13 members with nine representatives from Jazira and two each from Kobane and Afrin.

              OK, that sounds good.
            •  The Syrian Kurds are generally (6+ / 0-)

              strongly leftist, some even say socialist.

              These days since there is a war going on they operate on a local committees level.

              Committees sprang up to fill leadership needs. And as long as a committee meets the needs of the community it continues to operate. There have been a few instances where a new committee took over from another committee because it wasn't effective.

              There are women on the committees. And there are also women fighters.

              In villages it is traditional to have a council of elders chosen by the residents of the village and that system continues too in some villages.

              The importance of clans among Turkish and Syrian Kurds has greatly diminished during the past 40 or so years so clans are generally not important in these committees.

              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 Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 12:14:24 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  this seems good. (5+ / 0-)

                national socialism was much more prevalent in the region´s politics before Khomeini, was it not? and if they have managed to free socialism from this silly and destructive person-idolatry that was socialism´s bane mid of last century, then i wish them more luck.

                my hometown, where I grew up, tried to form a workers councils republic in 1918. And one of its leaders, Heinrich Vogeler, emigrated to the Soviet Union in the twenties and tried to help there to build a better country from scratch, but he starved ultimately.

                if these syrians keep this flame alive (doing it naturally for their own benefit, obviously) I think I can only be square behind them.

              •  If they are socialist they are evil (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                and must be defeated.

                At least that is what American right wingers will say. :(

      •  Not quite impotent, but there is no replacement (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        for meaningful air power.  Particularly air power operating at altitudes above that reachable by the enemy.

        "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

        by auron renouille on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 04:22:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The Declining British Empire press did this too (8+ / 0-)

      as American forces replaced British forces who had no more men to add to the fight in WW2, the British Press could NOT let go of the Dominant Agreed Upon Truth.. that Britain was no longer The Empire.

      The Battle of the Bulge was considered by Monty to be His victory, and the British Press dutifully obliged.

      History does not repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Like Britain, the US is going to HAVE to let go of the last 70 years story; we are not the only one on the stage any more. Our missteps, miscues, boners, fuckups and ignorance inside our own country are the necessary clues we need to understand; we are perhaps only one among equals of many nations now, as it should have been seen all along. Now, it is obvious.

      The sooner we make this transition, the sooner the world will be a safer place from our own militaristic narcissists.

      Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

      by OregonOak on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:17:11 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  IMO that is the near future (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        for the moment tho, the US still has the biggest collection of war toys and will be able to claim "we are the super power".

        But the day of reckoning is coming soon. The US will go the way of the old USSR -- military spending finally bankrupting and spiraling the country into wide spread poverty. It would have already come to pass, but the Chinese continue to buy US Debt (inexplicably).

        The signs are all around us. Austerity measures while Obama casually declares a new front on the GWoT -- then skips off to Martha's Vineyard to golf for a couple weeks.

        No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

        by CitizenOfEarth on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 12:25:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Military spending is not bankrupting the US (3+ / 0-)

          It is now down to 18% of the federal budget -- roughly 3.7% of GDP. If anything bankrupts the US it will be health care costs.

          •   The U.S. military budget is $756.4 billion 2015 (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            waterstreet2008, k9disc, mightymouse

            The U.S. military budget is $756.4 billion for FY 2015.


            That's what's on the books. No telling how much is hidden from taxpayers.

            But yeah health care costs are bad and Obamacare did little or nothing  about cost.

            No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

            by CitizenOfEarth on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 02:06:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Most of the problem is that the money is taken (4+ / 0-)

              out of circulation by Wall Street Financial Banks. It goes to Hidden Undisclosed Locations or stays inside their own private economy, spent on items their own financial class benefits from; gambling money for the gambling class. Smart working people find a service to do for the rich and get a bit of their loot stuck to them. Dumb ones like me are public servants, who are the first to be extinguished in a feudal or fascist economy, for political reasons.  

              We really might go bankrupt, but its because the wealth of the country is being looted into a Segregated Economy by the wealthiest people the world has ever known. They are promoting collapse, and if they win, they will get it.

              This is not a foregone conclusion yet. We can still win, but we have to drop the idea that it is hopeless. It is not.

              Figures don't lie, but liars do figure-Mark Twain

              by OregonOak on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 02:20:01 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  I know you've said we shouldn't have gotten (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      involved militarily, isn't that exactly want this admin was doing for months while ISIS was consolidating assests and reinforcing supply lines? I agree with your assessment it's "cowboys to the rescue", but don't you also think Americans are pretty damn reticent to get reinvolved militarily?

      Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

      by the fan man on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 03:04:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There's a strangely incompetent CNN piece (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    up from Douglas Ollivant. Tactically inept.

    Read through this. It's what passes for "Defense Intellectual" brilliance in the Villager world of military cred by proxy:

    "Can air power stop ISIS?" at CNN dot com:

    So what can U.S. airstrikes accomplish? Airpower is incredibly potent when properly used, but nearly useless in the wrong situations. ISIS will present both these alternatives in Iraq.

    Put very simply, airpower is incredibly effective against an enemy who is on the offense. If an enemy—be it a person or a vehicle or a weapon system—is on the move and/or fighting, they create a "signature" that is easy to spot from the air.

    Since there will be no U.S. forces on the ground as target designators or air controllers, being able to see a target from the air will be crucial. So, a column of ISIS trucks or—as seen early Friday morning—a captured artillery piece firing against Kurdish positions, each make easy acquisition. Against these targets, airpower is nearly invincible. One thinks of the devastation released over two decades ago by U.S. airpower on the "Highway of Death" (albeit these forces were not attacking, but retreating—but the signature is the same).

    So when President Obama talks about targeted airstrikes to protect American personnel in Baghdad or Irbil, he is, in essence, saying that if ISIS attacks toward these cities, we will use airstrikes on their then-vulnerable forces.

    Note that the President did not say that airstrikes would be used to eject ISIS forces from Mosul or Kirkuk or Fallujah. For in densely populated cities like these, airpower has real limitations. An enemy in defensive positions, particularly in urban terrain, is very difficult to engage with airpower. Even if the target can be hit, the possibility for collateral damage that causes civilian casualties is very real. And if the target is missed, the collateral damage can be exponentially higher, even catastrophic.

    First off, there's no reason to rely on aerial spotting in Iraq. There's thousands of locals in every part of the country who are nothing if not afraid of ISIS. And their people all know how to use binoculars, radios, and GPS mappers.

    Contact spotting is always preferable. A pair of 20x80 binos and a comm-disguise radio come cheap. Not that the drones are bad, but fixed position/ camouflaged ISIS assets are better ID'd by humans.

    Second, Kirkuk ??? The Kurds hold Kirkuk and they have up a heavily artillery perimeter that extends out to 10 kilometers plus the range of their howitzers.

    ISIS trucks are soft targets when they get zeroed by artillery.

    Third, whazzup ignoring the Persians? Iran has two battalions in Iraq with full equipment and logistics support. Together with Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq and Iraqi Army units under Iranian command, they are holding Samarra and Tikrit.

    Last week ISIS lost 80 at Samarra and another 250 back up the road to a short counterattack.

    We are now allies with Iran. Book that one.

    Question: did Douglas Ollivant serve in the military? He's a Petraeus wonk. Long time student of the military. A planner and writer. But please, did he wear a uniform?

    •  Separating ISIS forces from civilians... (9+ / 0-)

      is going to be much easier in northern Iraq that it is in Afghanistan and Pakistan in part because of the terrain and in part by limiting the mission to degrading the heavier equipment that ISIS seized in Mosul.  The battlefield realities are much more like the operation over Libya.

      The transformation of ISIS from a guerilla force depending on tactical surprise and terror to a conventional army with enough mass to quickly gain momentumd that came in Mosul will be reversed by US action.   That returns the battlefield to small arms tactics on the part of ISIS because heavier equipment will be unavailable.

      Also the air operations will permit interdiction of what transported supply "tail" ISIS has from Syria (which I suspect is minimal, giving the tactics so far of attacking weapons storage areas.)  That and any large-scale movement of fighters will now be noticed and receive a quick response.  That in itself slows the ISIS advance even without incurring casualties of iSIS fighters.

      The difficulty the US will face is the necessity of propping up the Assad government in order to regain stability in Syria.  Too many policy-makers in the US have permanent friends and permanent enemies.

      The let send more arms nitwits in the press (WaPo yesterday was awful) don't realize how much weaponry already exists in the region and how much that fact makes the politics necessary to end war in the region that much more difficult.  Too many illusions of total military victory.

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

      by TarheelDem on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:22:16 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Saudi and other African fighters in Afghanistan (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        are pretty much nonexistent today. The locals don't like them any more than we do.

        As a guess that's where Syria goes when ISIS and JTND get wiped come fall/winter/spring. assuming the Shia counterattack doesn't stop at the border area.

    •  does the phrase "The Theoreticians" ring a bell? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      waterstreet2008, DavidMS

      I'm intrigued with your background & expertise on this, but I'll shut up if this is getting to close to a line.

      Some of your language sounds like US mil, doesn't sound like IC, some sounds like other-than-US but not UK.  I'm puzzled;-)

      We got the future back. Uh-oh.

      by G2geek on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:26:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This has been a real awakening, no? (5+ / 0-)

    Iraqi government backing Kurds, US and Iran cooperating (approximately) Cats and Dogs together.
    This is another example of how people automatically pull together when threatened by something bigger than themselves.
    Very interesting.
    I hope that after ISIS is wiped out, that the allies continue to see each other as allies rather than go back to being adversaries again.

    If I ran this circus, things would be DIFFERENT!

    by CwV on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:40:01 AM PDT

  •  Somewhat off-topic question: (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CenPhx, waterstreet2008

    recently I've seen people hurling the epithet "AAHMSE" to accuse people of sympathy with terrorists.  What does that mean?  I can't find it on the google.

    Lies written in ink can never disguise facts written in blood.--Lu Xun

    by Timaeus on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:44:02 AM PDT

    •  It's from DK user "sandbox." (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, CenPhx, Smoh

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 07:49:59 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  After I saw it a few times it seemed to me (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      CenPhx, Timaeus

      that "AAHMSE" meant "BS".

      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 08:07:24 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  AAH is Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq. The Iraq version of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Timaeus, CoyoteMarti

      Lebanon's Hizb Allah.

      But no, it's an insider one-person kossackism.


      "[Hamas] calls for the establishment of sharia law in Gaza. Hamas is homophobic, misogynistic, anti-semitic, anti-Christian and  they supported many odious causes, like the genocide in Darfur.  I've started using the acronym AAHMSE to summarize the previous sentence."

      A is for anti-Christian.
      A is for anti-Semitic.
      H is for homophobic.
      M is for misogynistic.
      S is for Sharia-loving (???)
      E is for Ernest who choked on a peach.

  •  What is the USG objective here? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I see it as protecting US assets in Irbil and Bahgdad, not as wiping out ISIS.

  •  Propaganda (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2008, CitizenOfEarth
    A good two-thirds of the combat force that ISIS brought into Iraq can be removed from the board within a couple months.
    Do you seriously believe this?
     Overall the u.S. has an advantage that we have a great Commander in Chief. We can state this without qualification. It's in the numbers.
    Uh huh. And exactly what has he accomplished militarily since he's been in office?

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

    by gjohnsit on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:33:08 AM PDT

  •  Why is the dairy date and time (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gjohnsit, waterstreet2008, capelza
    SUN AUG 10, 2014 AT 07:14 PM EEST
    and the comments' dates and times before that?
    Sat Aug 09, 2014 at 04:29:20 PM EEST

    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 Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 09:36:19 AM PDT

  •  I'd rec your diaries because they are informative. (8+ / 0-)

    I just can't get passed the gamer-nerd tough talk. I can't stand that kind of shit. People are actually dying on the ground, so dial that down a bit and add some humility.

    "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

    by ranger995 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:18:39 AM PDT

    •  Try doing the work professionally. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jjohnjj, G2geek, mosesfreeman

      The military point is that you want the right people dying on the ground. Here that's ISIS. which looks to be a collection of the Arab world's psychopaths.

      Not everybody here is amateurs and kids. And for a democracy there is no point to keeping the public in the dark on how our wars are going.

      For example, an excellent video game called "Six Days in Fallujah" was prevented from going on the market. It was too realistic. Our troops kill civilians in the normal ratios. Men women and children. When professionals get involved, there's a big move toward realism.

      •  I don't think you understand what I am saying. (7+ / 0-)

        Whatever "cool" video game you are working with, professional or amateur, there are people dying in reality. Whether it helps you to talk about them as a "collection of the Arab world's psychopaths" you should still have some humility and respect for what a 500 lb bomb actually does.

        Should we be desensitized sociopaths who talk about wiping other human beings "off the board" without any type of conscience for what that actually means?

        I get that ISIS/ISIL is bad, and that perhaps a bombing campaign is necessary. I don't think that these tools, however effective, should be portrayed as "cool" gadgets like they are some kind of new iPhone product. There's no humility or respect for what is actually happening, and I find that sickening.

        I don't know what your background is, but I have watched planes do serious damage to our enemies in person. It is awesome in the true sense of the word, even scary. I am happy we had the air support, and that they were on our side, but I fucking hated the fobbit assholes who talk tough about these operations. Thinking they are personally some kind of tough guy because they know military lingo and get to watch the video. It's too chicken hawk for my taste, and makes it too easy for us to bomb without conscience.

        A "realistic" video game is not reality, and it would only serve to further desensitize people. I think our country is desensitized enough to killing.

        "If you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing!" (on a sign at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans)

        by ranger995 on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:42:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  You arn't going to "defeat" ISIS militairially, (3+ / 0-)

    Sure, you can kill a lot of the current crop, but like whack a mole, they will be back.

    ISIS is a product of Sunni Radicalization.

    So, the root causes of Sunni Radicalization need to be addressed, and that is a multinational requirement based in change and support for change, and it's not a case of just drawing, or allowing to be drawn, new lines on a map and calling it a day.

    An interesting side effect of actually addressing Sunni Radicalization, is the steps and changes needed, are good for everybody, (other than The Usual Suspects), not just Sunni's.

    •  Side bet ??? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      T Maysle, G2geek, mosesfreeman

      One possible outcome is a Shia Crescent running from Zahedan-Tehran-Baghdad-Damascus-Beirut with an alliance with Erbil, Kurdistan (largely Sunni) on a side road.

      Don't expect such a federation to adopt modernized/secular laws. Basic Shia tolerance, sure thing.

      The people in this area have been dragged through Hell by proxies of the Saudis and other Sunni oil states. If it's not ISIS, it's embargoes or assassinations. Going for Shia-led government has to be an improvement.

    •  Depends on who the ISIS troops really are... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      waterstreet2008, mightymouse

      ...hardened worse-than-al-queda fanatics? ...or farmboys being paid with looted $100 bills and promises that they'll each be given four wives and and a village to govern in the new "Caliphate"?

      But I agree that Sunni grievances in Syria and Iraq are real. Baghdad ignored them and Damascus killed off their secular leaders. The Islamists are the only political nucleus left for them to rally around.

      “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
      he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

      by jjohnjj on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:49:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Like most things, oversimplified. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        waterstreet2008, mightymouse

        "Baghdad" is a dysfunctional, barely ruling co elition of tribal interests, dominated by those who play the fixed game most effectively. "Baghdad" did not make up the rules of the game, College Republicans did, and made it almost impossible for Baghdad to fix the rules of the Game without major outside support.

        For example, let's say Maliki wanted to change Sunni Unemployment for the better, with a program of Government Jobs, subsidies and protectionism to rebuild Sunni Small Manufacturing and Agriculture, and enact a law requiring proportional ethnic employment in the Oil and Gas Industry.

        Problem A, de-baathification Laws through out Iraqi Law and even buried in the Constitution, and Constitutional change is almost impossible.

        Problem B, FTA Agreements, Liberalisation Laws, WTO , IMF, World Bank,

        Ditto for problem C.

        As for Assad, well, as the Guardian and BBC have reported, the plan in the 50's was to topple the Regime by promoting and training on one hand, "Moderates", to agitate for reform and Democracy, and on the other hand, arm and train Islamic terrorists to attack the regime, The plan even included false flag extraterritorial attacks and false flag chemical weapons attacks, to create international support for a pre-arranged "multinational", (Iraq, Jordan, Britain, The US) military intervention.

        The Assad Regime, eventually offered the protestors economic, political, corruption, justice and military reforms. Not everything that the Protestors were demanding, ( impossible demands), but a good start.

        Did the "Moderates" accept these reforms. No, of course not, and within days violence and organized terrorism broke out.

        Seem familiar.

    •  stopping saudis, kuwaitis, qatar, etc financing (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      waterstreet2008, G2geek, Lepanto

      isis would be a good start

      the governments of those countries pay lip service but only crack down on al queda, isis, radical sunnis from acting in their own countries while their people toss tons of money at al queda and isis to carry out attacks in other countries like syria and iraq to kill all non sunni

    •  ISIS - this is who they are (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      waterstreet2008, delver, G2geek

      Found this in the Guardian comments, good summary.

      You are 1000% right -- It's "whack a mole". Like trying to kill cockroaches with a broom.

      Most of these extremists are funded by the Arab states who practice the Wahhabi version of Islam. Sadly some of the richest Middle East states have large Wahhabi followers as part of their population. Through the spread of this version of Islam they have infiltrated not just the Middle East but the Far East and Africa. They are also beginning to infiltrate places as odd as the Caribbean. Its a very extreme version of Islam and as young people, often illiterate, learn from their Islamic schools they become radicalised and brainwashed from an early age. In many cases they are unemployable due to their extreme views. The more worrying are the educated who are almost sleepers in their societies. On the surface they appear Western but under the surface they are haters of all things modern and want to revert to a very strict society. This cannot be stamped out by a few air strikes. Western societies know this but refuse to control it and because of that eventually lash out with bombs when it becomes a real issue. The West must embrace a secular society forcing this to be ostracised by mainstream society. Religion should not be allowed as part of the curriculum because if you allow in one you have to allow in the rest in a Democratic society. Sometimes you have to take strong decisions regardless of cost.

      No longer Hoping for Change. Now Praying for a Miracle.

      by CitizenOfEarth on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 11:15:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've long believed (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DavidMS, waterstreet2008

      that one of the seminal developments of the twentieth century was the shift of the locus of Sunni scholarship from the Ottomans to the Saudis.

      KSA has the printing presses and funds the madrassas and mosques world-wide. Open any scholarly text, and it's likely got it's roots in Riyadh. Yet the Saudis are profoundly unqualified for the task, their narrow wahhabist views are in stark contrast to the softer interpretations of the old Caliphate. They literally gave birth to the Salafi. The rise of the internet, and the "engineer imam" makes it that much worse, as traditional scholarship (I mean really old, not current) is kicked aside in favor of on the spot, literalist interpretations that defy any of the four schools of thought.

      Saudi breeds radicalism, and they do it with their money and sponsorship. Control Islamic education, and you control Islam.

      … the NSA takes significant care to prevent any abuses and that there is a substantial oversight system in place,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), said August 23.

      by mosesfreeman on Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 08:28:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Bombing Iraq. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    May you always find water and shade.

    by Whimsical Rapscallion on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 10:50:46 AM PDT

  •  You make it sound way too easy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2008, delver, mightymouse

    Those F18's and 500 lb bombs are almost useless against ISIS hiding in small towns among civilians.  In fact, the F18 is a poor weapon against these toyota trucks, and once they get among the civilians, it's going to take boots on the ground to root them out.

    ISIS has a lot of support among a small portion of the population.

    Show me a link that shows there are Iranian supported ground forces operating in Iraq and battling ISIS on other than a very tiny scale.

    I fully assumed Obama was using the humanitarian problem as cover to attack ISIS and they have to be dealt with.  But it'll be up to the Iraqis to get rid of them, and so far the Iraqi army has proven to be weak and ineffective.

    George Bush opened the gates of hell, and we are going to get stuck preventing a lot of radical fundamentalist religious crap from bursting through those gates and spreading like a plague around the world.  

  •  Thanks for that informative update (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2008, Sapere aude, G2geek

    I'm a pacificist but have a perverse fascination with military affairs, e.g., watching The Military Channel, etc.

    None of what I've heard on mainstream news has made much sense.  Your diary does make sense.

    •  Thank you. "Fact-based" matters. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      G2geek, mosesfreeman

      American MSM seem to be self-censoring their product to avoid mentioning Iran. It's that old "Axis of Evil" meme, a fair part of it deserved.

      -- en, for balanced coverage of their internal affairs.

      •  If American MSM reported Iran troops in Iraq and (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        waterstreet2008, delver

        that American military is coordinated with them, providing them satellite and/or drone info on IS positions, McCain & Graham would be calling for Obama's impeachment for 'aiding & abetting' the enemy about 60 seconds later.

        David Koch, a teacher and a Tea Partier sit down a table with a plate of a dozen cookies. Koch quickly stuffs 11 cookies in his pockets, leans to the bagger and says "watch out, the union thug will try to steal your cookie".

        by Dave in AZ on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 01:08:29 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  CIA and State Dept. predicted this back in 1991 (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        waterstreet2008, G2geek

        Per a friend who was working in the Pentagon during the run-up to Desert Storm, the CIA and State Dept. told the Geo. H.W. Bush Administration that toppling Saddam would create a power vacuum that would likely likely lead to the breakup of Iraq and/or get filled by the Iranians.  On their advice, both Bush and Cheney talked about it later on.

  •  this might belong in this diary (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2008, delver

    thanks to both of you, I have learned a lot new stuff this evening.

    this I found .. might interest waterstreet.

    •  Kurdish forces taking out ISIS by the dozens. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "In clashes on the Rabia-Sinjar front since 2 August it is reported that at least 170 members of the ISIS gangs have been killed in clashes with the YPG forces, while 9 YPG fighters have died. The ISIS gangs who call themselves 'Islamic State' (IS) attacked peshmerga forces in the Zummar area of Mosul on 2 August, whereupon  YPG forces crossed into Rabia from Til Kocher and intervened. On 3 August ISIS occupied Sinjar, from where KDP peshmerga forces had withdrawn, and began to massacre the Yezidi Kurdish people who live there."

      They use "gang members" for ISIS.

      Crips & Bloods kind of gang.

  •  Thanks (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For the enlightening link to TPM and the excerpt from Small Wars Journal. After reading, seem to me ISIS has seen its best days.

    U.S air power will make quick work of them.

  •  Something I don't get. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In your BBC link, the date on that story about the Battle of Samarra is June 5, 2014.  So did that happen in June, or just this past week?

  •  Sometimes you have to support evil (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2008, delver, Sapere aude

    to eliminate a worse evil.

    The US did that in its alliance with the Kuominting against  Japan, and also in its alliance with Stalin against Hitler.

    Here we have the evil al-Maliki, the even more evil Iranian mullahs, and the even worse ISIS.

    It really sucks. But sometimes you have to do it.

  •  Take this chance for rapport with Iran (4+ / 0-)

    that GWB blew after some good will after 9/11, with AoE crap and Israeli pressure (can even they see that IS/IL is more dangerous to almost everyone?) It's a shame that our Lame Stream Media (one derogatory nickname the cons got right, even if for the wrong reasons!) are pressured to avoid any good word for Iran, etc.

  •  Don't forget JSTARS (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2008, G2geek

    We used them in Bosnia, and they can find individual pickup trucks on a mountain road.  Equipment includes side-look/down-look radar and not many ISIS vehicles can even move without being spotted if one is overhead.  ISIS mobility is seriously compromised if they are being used.

  •  Thanks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, waterstreet2008

    for your regular reports. Like this one, they've been informative and well-written. Luckily, they've also give us reason for optimism, at least regarding the fate of ISIS. The fact that Iran and the US are cooperating in the battlefield is another very positive sign for the future.

    Marx was an optimist.

    by psnyder on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 05:52:39 PM PDT

  •  I think ISIS can be driven out (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    G2geek, waterstreet2008

    I'll make an estimate that air power coupled with attack helicopters and reasonably disciplined ground troops can drive them out of Iraq quickly.  The reason I say that is that their mode of attack is mainly from trucks sometimes with machine guns mounted.  That is useless against an attack helicopter.  Right now we are using drones but an attack helicopter can unleash way more firepower.

    Well anyway that's my amateur "general" take on this.  

    In short, I'll support action against ISIS as long as we are not drawn into Iraqi nation building.  The Iraqi need to get their shit together already.  Quite bizarre that we are fighting on Iran side but ISIS is a common enemy.  They are brutal, uncivilized and have to be stopped now. And this is coming from someone who is mainly against war.  Sometimes you just have to fight.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 06:02:38 PM PDT

    •  nation building (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      is the only way how IS can be stopped. Why do Americans abhor nation building? It sounds like some one going to the doctor saying "Heal me but dont give me any medicine".

      IS is there in the first place only because the iraqui groups cant agree sufficiently on what their nation is and how it should work. IS is there only because the Sunni Iraqi let that happen.

      "War is politics with other means" said a wise man. If Americans arent prepared to engage in the byzantine Iraqi politics then they have no business engaging there militarily.

      •  Why do we abhor it? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lepanto, waterstreet2008

        Because we suck at it.  Show me one example where we succeeded at nation building.  Let's concentrate on what we are good at doing - using our military to defeat an enemy.  It's up to Iraqi to get their shit together.  If they had unity, ISIS would had never gotten into their nation in the first place.,

        "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

        by noofsh on Sun Aug 10, 2014 at 07:05:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  ISIS has 20mm and 23mm anti-aircraft guns. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Hundreds of them. Range goes to 1500 meters with effect, particularly for the 23s.

      Pretty much they're set up to blast chops.

      Otherwise, using drones for survey work is AOK. Then call in carrier jets or the SU-25s or beg for A-10s where there's a cluster. With modern GPS technology there's not much ISIS attack teams can do to set up a major attack against Iraqi-Kurdish-Iranian forces.

  •  Good to see Iran and America finally (3+ / 0-)

    working together.  By having this combo, it may have the power to shut down Netanyahoo's power grab along with the Saudi's and put an end to the right wing here of trying to accomplish their so called "rapture".  This will be good for all and may help to stabilize the region once and for all.

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