So many questions about Islamic State, so few answers

Oil fields near Tikrit
Oil fields near Tikrit

So how is it a non-state paramilitary just pops out of nowhere, well-funded and trained, and is on the verge of taking over at least two countries, while no one in the West has a clue what to do. Really? And where was NSA and the rest of military “intelligence”? None of them saw this coming. Thus, the hundreds of billions they spend each year to supposedly defend and protect us is almost completely wasted. As with the financial crisis of 2007, it was bloggers and other fringees who saw the crisis coming, and who were then ignored or ridiculed until the crisis hit. Then mainstream media and government had to admit all those crazy conspiracists were right.

The same thing is happening with IS. Big media are not asking or digging to determine who funds IS, where their support comes from, as specifically which Middle East governments tacitly or otherwise are backing them. Instead we get Wolf Blitzer blithering about minutiae (“Who is Jihadi John?”) “and ignoring the big issues.

Who benefits from this madness? The war machine, of course. There’s lots of money to be made, even as what passes for strategy from the White House and Pentagon has failed yet again. Oh well, that just means more opportunity for war.

Iraq is now a sectarian civil war. Shi’ite militias and Iran are attacking Tikrit, which is overwhelmingly Sunni. It doesn’t matter which side “wins”, the result will be slaughter and reprisals.

IS blows up oil fields near Tikrit to slow Iraqi forces.

IS has taken over Libya oilfields, as the situation there deteriorates too.

Contrary to D.C. propagandists, defensive wars do not exist

Is this defensive or offensive war damage. Hmm.
Is this defensive or offensive war damage? Hmm.

How many times have we heard blather from Washington that we need to arm someone, but strictly for defensive purposes. Anyone saying that is a fool or a liar, because when the shooting starts, you shoot back and attack when you can. It is intellectually dishonest to say wars can be defensive only – yet that’s precisely what Obama and Kerry are trying to do, send weapons to Ukraine then pretend they will be used for defense only.

Kerry pretends the US isn’t arming Ukraine against Russia (something France and Germany strongly oppose)

“We talked about the largest threat that Ukraine faces today, and that is Russia’s continued aggression in the east. There’s no other way to call it. We’re not seeking a conflict with Russia. No one is. ”¦ The president is reviewing all of his options. Among those options, obviously, is the possibility of providing defensive — defensive — assistance to Ukraine.”

Make no mistake, Obama and Kerry and too many other supposed liberals now support all war all the time.

Just as NATO allies Germany and France were undertaking a peace initiative with Russia and Ukraine, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry turned up in Kiev at the same time, seeking to poison the talks before they started by spouting yet again the ritual U.S. accusation of “Russian aggression.” The incantation is meaningless without context. Its purpose is mesmerize a false consciousness. “Russian aggression” may or may not exist in the events of the past year, just like “Russian self-defense.” Reporting on the ground has been too unreliable to support any firm analysis, never mind the provocative “Russian aggression” the U.S. brandishes as a virtual call for war.

The US has no clue what it will do in Ukraine if serious war starts yet is doing its best to provoke a conflagration anyway. We have no strategy, no tactics, no plan for an end game. Nope, just charge ahead and make the world safe for democracy (again) then wonder a few years later why we’ve created such a mess (again.) We do little half-assed wars and not full-on wars is because 1) our populace is tired of them and 2) war is bankrupting us. A much better idea then, is to let those in a disputed area fight it out, rather than insisting we become involved too.

This also applies to ISIS. Most Middle East countries have shown little interest in fighting ISIS. Until they do, why should we get involved?

Jordan invading Iraq may be precisely what ISIS wants

Getting all macho may be precisely what ISIS wants
Getting all macho may be precisely what ISIS wants

Jordan is massing troops on their border with Iraq. An invasion is certain to follow. Despite much macho blustering from Jordan and the US, an invasion may well fail, and fail spectacularly. This may have been ISIS’s intent in burning the pilot alive, to provoke Jordan into rage, then sucker them into a trap. All of this is greatly aided by chowderhead US politicians and generals (who mostly seem to be pimping for the war machine) screaming we must have more war, even as we use the exact same tactics that have failed us multiple times in the past. Surely this time will be different. Air strikes will defeat the foe. The populace won’t turn against us just because we accidentally bomb a few wedding parties.

John Robb:

ISIS used the video to provoke Jordan. ISIS selected the punishment (it was insulting) and the victim (he was the son of a politically important tribal chief) with care. This implies that the video was meant to produced outrage, not coercion. ISIS did this to provoke Jordan into rash actions that it could take advantage of.

Further, ISIS knows there isn’t a strong coalition against ISIS, that bombing won’t hurt them much, and is hoping Jordan will make a strategic mistake, like getting sucked into the Syrian civil war, invading deep into Iraq and getting its supply lines too stretched-out, cracking down massively on dissent within the country with the usual effects of driving more people to ISIS.

But the war machine only know how to do one thing.

A week after the release of a clip with sported professionally produced, near Hollywood-level editing and effects, showing the brutal burning of a Jordanian pilot hostage, Jordan announced it has deployed “thousands” of ground troops to its border with Iraq as it ramps up a campaign against ISIS militants, two Jordanian government officials told NBC News.

The crown jewel in all this for ISIS would be to create enough chaos that they could attack the Saudi border.

“Low life scum” and addiction to war


Protesting a withered old war criminal simply cannot be allowed in the august, mostly reality-free halls of the U.S. Senate. Congress and the Administration are busily preparing for more war in Ukraine and the Middle East so when that petite troublemaker Medea Benjamin and her Code Pink cohorts protested Henry Kissinger the only thing John McCain could do is sputter they were “low-life scum.” Really?

Why is that the U.S. Congress never really considers the possibilities of peace and of not going to war?  It’s not like we’re hugely successful at war. Iraq and Libya are in chaos now. IS, at least partly spawned in our prisons in the Middle East, is running amok. We can’t even decide who to back in Syria. Yet the war machine lumbers on. Gosh, it’s almost like we’re addicted to war.

No, this time won’t be different, especially since as a country we refuse to see how our actions, belligerence, and assumption of superiority often make bad situations worse for inhabitants of countries we invade and for ourselves. Here’s a hint. Every time a drone goes astray and hits a wedding party or a bomber hits a hospital by mistake, dozens of new terrorists are born.

These questions arise amidst reaction to the scene at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on January 29, when the committee decided it would be useful to hear from a nonagenarian former secretary of state and unindicted war criminal named Henry Kissinger. As reported by the Associated Press in the New York Times, this appearance of a former government official, who was an architect of American failures from Viet-Nam to Chile, left unasked the question: why would the Senate leadership today want to hear from a man so steeped in making war – and losing?

The question of war or peace is a question the Times and most of the mainstream media would rather not consider, even though they’re covering a Congress that has been noisy with war drums for months, or years now.

Moussaoui claims Saudi royals ‘funded 9/11 attacks’

zacharias moussaoui

BBC Radio interviewed the lawyer who interviewed Moussaoui. The lawyer says Mosssaoui’s testimony is credible, and backed by other evidence. The official Saudi denial was curiously worded. It said no government officials were involved but specifically did not say royals were not involved. Moussaoui says he kept a database of AQ donors, shuttled messages between bin Laden and royals, who were supporting jihad to make points with the Wahhabi fundamentalist thugs whose support the regime needs. (I listened to the interview on Sirius and can’t find a link online yet, just a news link)

The US and allies are blundering around trying to fight a new kind of war with old school tactics and strategy. First off, maybe this isn’t our war. Let the locals fight it out, as, as apparently, as always, Sunni-Shia disputes are at the center. Second, if we try to fight it with bombs, we will just make things worse and less safe for ourselves. Third, let’s determine just exactly who are friends, if any, are in the Middle East.

The Telegraph is blunt. And if you ask why I quote from The Torygraph, you miss the point. This isn’t about left vs. right.

War with Isis: If Saudi Arabia isn’t fueling the militant inferno, who is?

Jordanians, more than half of whom are Palestinians, must now debate the dichotomy of tribal loyalty and religion, and ask a simple question: who are their real allies – and their real national enemies – in the Middle East?

The searchlight beam of their attention, and of Washington’s, will now again pass over the Gulf and that most Wahhabi of nations, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Put bluntly, should the world blame the Saudis for the inflammable monster that is Isis?

And in more news of the mad.

Boko Haram kill more than 100 in Cameroon.

Gunmen storm Libyan oil field, kill four, apparent Islamic radicals.