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It appears that at about the same time yesterday that John McCain (R-Confused) was delivering his fiery Senate floor speech in which he excoriated President Obama for having pulled US combat troops out of Iraq (which he did 2.5 years ago, btw) and, it seems, for not having sent them back in already (or something, who can tell for sure).......

Iran was sending its own combat troops into Iraq to prop up the Iraqi government and defend Baghdad, and in another ironic twist, to help re-take Saddam's hometown of Tikrit.

That raises an interesting question for John 'bomb, bomb, bomb.... bomb, bomb, Iran' McCain: If we DO intervene in the Iraq civil war, perhaps by sending in air strikes......

Should we just bomb BOTH SIDES?

What is happening now in Iraq is nothing more than the inevitable culmination of the bloody process started in 2003 by Bush/Cheney and the neo-cons - the dissolution of Iraq into its 3 component parts: Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite.

By removing the brutal Sunni dictator Saddam and handing control of the country over to the brutal Shiite strong-man al-Maliki, Bush and his cronies upset a delicate balance not only in Iraq, but throughout the Middle East.

The Kurds in the north-east of Iraq have been going their own way since the 2003 invasion removed the oppressive hand of Saddam from their throats. Little is heard from that region, but it appears they have been fashioning their own little country.* Little wonder they took this opportunity to seize control of Kirkuk, and look for them to further cement their independence.

ISIS, the main Sunni 'terrorist' group spearheading the offensive aimed at Baghdad, seems to have allied itself with at least some of the Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar province. This alliance - if it truly exists - will be of short-term use to both parties, because, as has happened in Syria, ISIS will quickly prove to be far too radical for the Sunni tribes. What remains to be seen is whether the offensive will break down into internal fighting (as has happened in Syria between the Free Syria Army and the ISIS/ISIL) or if the Sunni tribes will eject ISIS and claim a Sunni homeland in Iraq.

Iran has also been supporting Syrian dictator Assad through its proxy Hezbollah, which has been fighting against ISIL, which is also our enemy.

And, of course, all of these wars and battles are pieces of the existential struggle for dominance in the Middle East between Shiite Iran and Sunni Saudi Arabia.

A possible outcome would have independent Sunni and Kurdish regions in an Iranian-dominated Iraq/Syria. I do not see ISIS/ISIL holding any territory for long - there is a vast difference between routing some policemen to 'take over' a city like Mosul, and conquering a nation to rule it.

We, in our infinite stupidity, opened this Pandora's box, and paid heavily in blood and treasure to try to control the mess we created. We failed, plain and simple.

This is happening, and it is out of our control, and for the most part beyond our influence. I just hope we don't waste any more blood and treasure proving how stupid we are.

And while I wish John McCain would just shut up, it is sort of entertaining to listen to him tie himself in knots.

Cheers.

* UPDATE: Thanks to ivorybill for pointing out how idiotic it was for me to have originally described Iraqi Kurdistan as a 'Taliban-style  Islamic Republic'. I stand corrected, and humbled.

Poll

What should we do about the Iraqi civil war?

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59%213 votes

| 360 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  McCain ought to shut up (34+ / 0-)

    about Bergdahl also, but he probably won't.

    "Fascism is attracting the dregs of humanity- people with a slovenly biography - sadists, mental freaks, traitors." - ILYA EHRENBURG

    by durrati on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 06:26:48 AM PDT

    •  With McCain and Bergdahl's captivities, (3+ / 0-)

      the only one that we know for sure was going against "direct orders" was McCain by hot-dogging and flying in unauthorized territory.  Right now, it seems like Bergdahl's unit command didn't care too much about following regulations.

      The problem with McCain and our U.S. military joining hands with the Iranians is that no media is calling him on those conflicted war heroes and war foes going on in all of his imaginary wars.  No more "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" Senator McCain?

    •  McCain doesn't know how to shut up. His problem is (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Santa Susanna Kid, durrati

      that he never met a war he didn't like.

      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 Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:31:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  My analysis is the same (8+ / 0-)

    Iran is our new bestie. Again.

    Turkey will invade to recapture the Kurds. Iran will send more troops and then just annex half of Iraq. The Saudies will commit troops and then all hell will break loose.

    $300 a barrel oil, here we come!

    •  Sigh... (34+ / 0-)

      Turkey is not going to invade to "recapture the Kurds".  They have billions of dollars invested in Kurdistan, and if they were to do that, they would sabotage SE Turkey's economy and find themselves in the middle of a brand new civil war on their side of the border.

      They haven't "recaptured" Kurdistan in the last two decades; they won't now.  They are in constant contact with the Kurdistan government and cooperate on a number of issues.

      The question now is whether with Kirkuk, the Kurds will have the leverage to get (bribe?) Turkey to accept actual independence, and not just de-facto independence as they have now.

      But Turkey invade Kurdistan?  Nope.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:01:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree... (16+ / 0-)

        and it's at least within the realm of possibility that Iran may decide to jettison its own Kurdish problem by letting a newly independent Kurdistan annex a small amount of its territory.

        And independent Kurdistan, with oil wealth but land-locked and surrounded by larger countries, is potentially a very good result in that region.

        Cheers.

        Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

        by databob on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:15:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  For Iran, it would be pure genius. They can (4+ / 0-)

          carve the border they like and then give it up voluntarily.  Most of the Kurds who prefer to break-away will simply leave and move into the ceded territory.

          The same is true for Assad.  I think the only thing preventing him from negotiating a border with "Syrian Kurdistan" is the water he'd lose.

          ProTip - the people who like to play PVP MMORPG's often see this site as one.

          by JesseCW on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:53:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Well, the Peshmerga do seem to be a (5+ / 0-)

          ... pretty competent force, and they seem to have no particular geopolitical interest beyond securing Kurdish areas and wealth from outside influence; their only main source of conflict at present is that they don't actually have a country. I'm not sure full independence would work out for the best, as neither Turkey nor Iran are going to be willing to give up territory (Iraq may not have a choice). A highly and formally federalized Iraq, however, is a distinct possibility. That's really the only solution here I can see working out, with the Sunnis also getting their own federalized region (which yes, will almost undoubtedly be to some degree an Islamic state, but not to the degree that ISIL wants if majority rules).

          There's always a huge thrust in American politics - including this diary - to ascribe to America everything that happens in the world. But while you can certainly point to a US action in the past that had an influence on the present (the invasion of Iraq in this case), that's not really an accurate way to look at things because there's a virtually unlimited amount of "past" and if you change any one thing in it, you change the present. I mean, you could credit Tunisia with Iceland's financial crisis due to the Vestmannaeyjar pirate raids in the 1700s, if you want to take that approach.

          The direct consequences that led up to this, overwhelmingly, are the actions of the Maliki government. If you were looking for a way to tick off both the Kurds and the Sunnis, and even some Shiite groups, he sure laid out a pretty good roadmap. Before he took power, Iraq had really quieted down. "Al-Qaeda in Iraq" was almost completely obliterated, thanks to help from the Sunni "Awakening" militias, which fought against insurgents under promise of a representative government and equitable oil wealth distribution. Maliki basically stabbed them in the back. Same with the Kurds.

          Honestly, it's extremely hard to say what would have happened in Iraq had the US not invaded (something which I, I should add, strongly opposed, and am very proud of having opposed). If I had to guess, there would have been an uprising in Iraq against Saddam and his family during the "Arab Spring". But once you throw that into the picture, even the issue of what day of the week it started on radically changes the picture. For example, had Iraq occurred before Libya, what we did in Libya could have instead happened in Iraq (I'm sure Saddam would have reacted similar to Ghadaffi). Would it have resolved quickly? How much chaos afterwards in the struggle of power? Would it be a new Big Syria at present? What about the knock-on effects? For example, we've basically been indirectly opposing Iran in Syria. But in Iraq, we'd have been on Iran's side. But Russia would have been even more in support of Saddam in Iraq than they are of Assad in Syria, which could potentially have strained their relations with Iran. The increased oil disruption would strengthen Russia's hand in Ukraine, but that could potentially be offset by better relations between the US/Europe and Iran, potentially leading to reduced sanctions / increased oil exports. And on and on... the possibilities are endless.

          I prefer to simply look at the direct cause of current events and not backtrack it too much. And I think it's hard to say that the direct cause of all this wasn't Maliki's power-grabbing bungling.

          The day I'll consider justice blind is the day that a rape defendant's claim of "She consented to the sex" is treated by the same legal standards as a robbery defendant's claim of "He consented to give me the money": as an affirmative defense.

          by Rei on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:59:17 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Indeed think of all the outside money flowing i... (0+ / 0-)

            Indeed think of all the outside money flowing into the country from outside....the same thing happening in Syria...even Afghanistan. I'm always thankful that at least in the US we crack down on international funding of extremist groups in country. Imagine having Iran covertly funding militia groups here.

      •  the turks have launched punitive raids (0+ / 0-)

        into iraqi kurdistan and may continue.

        they may allow a kurdish autonomous region in iraq
        if they don't support kurdish independence in turkey.

      •  No they won't (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AoT, GrannyGeek, science nerd

        For one thing, Europe will cut them out.

        For another thing, instead of Kurdish separatists in three provinces, they'll be dealing with what is essentially a well oiled army.  The Kurds have been on the shit end in the Middle East for about four centuries, and now that they've got a reprieve, they're arming themselves to the teeth.

        They can use their position as a chip to trade with Kurdistan: we stay out of your way, and you put a lid on your pals in eastern Turkey.

        And strategically, Kurdistan is good news for Europe (and frankly Turkey), a fairly stable buffer between Europe and the madness.

      •  Also Ocalan. (0+ / 0-)

        There were rumblings a couple of weeks ago about Turkey freeing Ocalan. I thought it strange at the time but it would make perfect sense now.

        With Ocalan back as leader of the PKK and ostensibly a free Kurdistan, Turkey would have a huge 'in' to the Iraqi[nee Kurdish] oil fields and expanded influence in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia could find itself on the sidelines. What would be Israel's take is a whole other issue in which the US would be pulled in whether we wanted it or not.

        IMHO, all depends on Turkey backiing the Kurds, Iran not getting too chummy with ISIS and Israel cooling their pants-on-fire jets for a while.

        Peace.

        •  Israel-Turkey relations not good, but sublethal. (0+ / 0-)


          Turkey does not want Israel wiped off the map in its public and its private proclamations, though their relationship is currently very sour.  Saudi Arabia says it wants Israel wiped off the map, but in practice they act like allies in containing Iran.

          "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

          by Yamaneko2 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:31:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Saudi Arabia can't and won't commit troops (9+ / 0-)

      First off, they are chickens.

      But most importantly, their only entry to the battlefield would be to invade Iraq (through Kuwait, btw) on its southern border and fight their way north. That worked pretty well for us - twice - but the Saudis aren't us.

      And forget the Saudis trying the US 'hail mary' from the Gulf War of swinging way out to the west in the desert - again, they're not us.

      Iran doesn't want to 'annex' Iraq, or any part of it. They are happy with another proxy state, like Syria.

      Iran will commit only enough troops to bolster the al-Maliki regime.

      Cheers.

      Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

      by databob on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:19:23 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  the saudi's don't have troops (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GrannyGeek

      worth spit.

      the saudi army is basically a paramilitary force
      aimed at torturing shiite's and collecting money.

      if they run into hard core jihadi's they will collapse.

      the plus side is they can run logistics, but not too far.

      The saudi's may establish a cordon across the border, but
      i doubt much more then that.

  •  You forgot send McLame over there to lead (24+ / 0-)

    the charge as an option in your poll.

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 06:27:57 AM PDT

  •  Bomb Bomb Bomb Iraq (9+ / 0-)

    doesn't rhyme with the song.

    McCain need some new material.

    If cats could blog, they wouldn't

    by crystal eyes on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 06:33:06 AM PDT

  •  Good diary but you will probably get in (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whl, Smoh, MadMs, kharma

    trouble over the last line in your poll with some people, although I "know what you mean".

    You can't make this stuff up.

    by David54 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 06:35:15 AM PDT

  •  some more not good news (48+ / 0-)

    just spent a long time on the phone with a person who is currently over there in that part of the world whose analysis I trust - he is Muslim and a scholar/ political analyst and has been there for the last 34 years.

    He said that this caught everyone unaware.

    From his perspective the most alarming news was this:

    Iraqi Shiite Cleric Issues Call to Arms
    which is also being reported by the BBC
    http://www.bbc.com/...

    Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, has never before issued a statement like this (according to my friend he has always been a man with a more pacifist approach to Islam - and has felt religion and politics don't mix)  

    My friends opinion is that who will survive this debacle - which is heading towards partition - will be the Kurds, whose territory in the mountains is well defended.

    Sigh - I wish i understood more - this is not my area
    of study - my friend assured me that none of the "experts" have much of a clue either.

    From his perspective none of the "sides" are supportable - they all have terrible blood on their hands - but if we want to point fingers at the primary culprits - look to the Saudi's and Bush/Haliburton.

    The U.S should stay out.

    Oh - and McCain is as always as@#@le.

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition." Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 06:38:11 AM PDT

    •  There is a meme going around Facebook... (19+ / 0-)

      that calls out our huge spy budget and asks the question, "Why with all of our intelligence, did this catch us unaware?".

      This assume that this is not exactly what our country wanted to happen.  

      If your business is selling umbrellas, you love it when it rains.

      "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

      by Buckeye Nut Schell on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 06:49:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  ISIS is far more alarming than al-Sistani. (5+ / 0-)

      With all due respect to your friend, the Sunni extremist jihadi invaders and their local Ba'athist enablers caused the crisis and are far, far more of a threat to peace than those Shi'ites responding to their armed take-over.

      Partition is not inevitable.

      It's just one possibility in a rapidly changing crisis that spans two nations that have slipped into civil war, Syria and Iraq.

      Whoever intervenes should do so to promote a peaceful path for Iraqis to live free of dictators and the murderous jihadis of ISIS. Of course, foreign powers will be too cynical for that.

    •  Remember the al-Askari mosque bombing in Samarra (13+ / 0-)

      That was in 2006, and was one of the igniting events of the worst sectarian violence.

      I did see Sistani's call, and noted that it was very different from 2006, when he was the calming voice trying to keep Shiites from retaliating for the al-Askari mosque bombing.

      Also, our old friend Muqtada al-Sadr is rallying his followers to join the fight.

      And is it any surprise that the Iraqi forces (hard to call them an army), bolstered by Iranian Quds troops, decided to fight back in Tikrit? A quick look at the map shows which town is directly south:

      Samarra

      The Shiites know full well that if ISIS reaches Samarra, the al-Askari mosque will be rubble before the sun sets.

      I have to believe that ISIS was as unprepared for its success in Mosul as the Baghdad government was for its failure. There just cannot be enough ISIS core cadre to hold any significant territory, and now that they're strung out more or less from Aleppo in Syria to Tikrit - about 500 miles - they're discovering little details like logistics and rear security.

      In particular, looking at the map, I wouldn't be surprised to see a Kurdish salient west from Arbil to cut the main road from Mosul to Tikrit. That would sever ISIS supply lines, and in that part of the world, you don't go anywhere (fast) if you're not on a road, and there's no other road to take.

      I think we'd all like to hear more from your friend. Does he blog?

      Cheers.

      Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

      by databob on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:10:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Juan Cole's (14+ / 0-)

        summary on this development:

        Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani and his colleagues in Najaf, the seat of Shiite religious authority, issued a statement roundly condemning the Iraqi political class for its divisions and wrangling and calling on them to unite to protect Iraqi citizens from the terrorist groups that had taken over Ninevah Province (i.e. Mosul and environs). Sistani also expressed condolences for the Iraqi troops killed by ISIS fighters and pledged the religious authority’s support to the Iraqi army in this struggle. It is more or less a declaration of Shiite jihad on ISIS.

        Meanwhile other members of the Shiite establishment are pledging a war of militias. The leader of the The Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI), Sayyid Ammar al-Hakim, said that there is no place in Iraq for ISIS extremists, and pledged that he will be the first to volunteer to go to the front to fight them. ISCI has a paramilitary, the Badr Corps, with close links to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. It had largely been absorbed into the Iraqi army and Interior Ministry, but the use of the word “volunteer” suggests that Ammar may be thinking of reviving it.

        Likewise, Shiite clerical leader Muqtada al-Sadr has offered to create “Peace Brigades” to fight what he called Sunni terrorists and “undisciplined militias” and to protect Shiite shrines and Christian churches from ISIS militants. He attacked al-Maliki implicitly for having provoked the crisis.

        "The next time everyone will pay for it equally, and there won't be any more Chosen Nations, or any Others. Poor bastards all." ~The Boomer Bible

        by just another vet on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:35:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Juan Cole (12+ / 0-)

          gives som interesting information and reminders in The Second Iran-Iraq War and the American Switch providing history.

          The specter of Iranian troops on Iraqi soil can only recall the first Iran-Iraq War.

          From September of 1980, when Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi army invaded Iran’s oil-rich Khuzistan Province, until summer 1988 when Ayatollah Khomeini finally accepted an armistice, Iran and Iraq fought one of the Middle East’s longest and bloodiest wars. Its trench warfare and hidden naval encounters recalled the horrors of World War I, as did the Iraqi Baath government’s deployment of mustard gas against Iranian soldiers at the front and sarin gas against Kurdish civilians suspected of pro-Iranian sentiments.

          The Reagan administration in the United States largely backed Iraq from 1983, when Reagan dispatched then Searle CEO Donald Rumsfeld to shake Saddam’s hand. This, despite Iraq being the clear aggressor and despite Reagan’s full knowledge of Iraqi use of chemical weapons, about which George Schultz at the State Department loudly complained until he was shushed. Then, having his marching orders straight, Schultz had the US ambassador to the UN deep-six any UN Security Council resolution condemning Iraq for the chemical weapons deployment. The US navy fought an behind the scenes war against Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf, becoming a de facto appendage of the Baath military.

          Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

          by DRo on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:10:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  History provides an important context (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TomP, DRo, NearlyNormal, just another vet

            It's criminal that politicians ignore it and cultural differences in other countries and place every public speech in a Republican vs Democrat framework.  

            Do they know better or they just tools?

            Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

            by Kayakbiker on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:36:08 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  I agree (5+ / 0-)

              It's important that we look at the history and own up to what we caused.

              ust because the Reagan administration was so Machiavellian, it also gave some minor support Iran in the war. Reagan stole anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry from the Pentagon storehouses and illegally sold them to Khomeini despite Iran being on the US terrorism watch list. He then had Iran pressure the Shiite militiamen in Lebanon to release American hostages. Reagan sent the money received from Iran to death squads in Nicaragua fighting the people’s revolution there against a brutal American-installed dictatorship. This money was sent to Nicaragua in defiance of the Boland Amendment passed by Congress forbidding US monies to go there. Ollie North, whom you see prevaricating on Fox News these days, was a bag man for the operation.
              They may as well have broken into the National Archives Nick Cage style, broken out the original copy of the constitution, and put it through a shredder several times in a row till small confetti pieces were all that were left.

              Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

              by DRo on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:59:25 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Yes indeed logistics are always key....a long s... (0+ / 0-)

        Yes indeed logistics are always key....a long supply line is very vulnerable in hostile territory as the US found out when Pakistan closed the border crossings into Afghanistan.

    •  The way to look at this (23+ / 0-)

      is by comparing it to the Kurdish uprising in 1991.  Iraq is a society in which everyone has multiple identities - ethnic, religious, regional and tribal - and in which the central government has never really had much legitimacy.

      Saddam used the Ottoman-era technique of ruling - through power brokers in the periphery, usually tribal leaders and big land owners, and religious leaders who commanded the loyalty of networks of supporters. That worked in some areas for a long time.  He bribed and threatened Kurdish "aghas" - or hereditary large land owners/tribal leaders - to "support" him.  They did, to the extent they had to.  But the support was always a little shallow, and there was a social structure under the surface that surprised the West when the Kurds revolted in March 1991 and took over all of Kurdistan in about a week.  Something similar is going on now.  

      In other parts of the country, Saddam attempted to force the Shia' religious hierarchy to support him.  Those that did not oppose him, he let live.  Those who stood up to him he killed - in one case by driving a large nail into the forehead of Iraq's most beloved Shia' religious leader, after forcing him to witness the rape of his sister.   Sistani survived all this, just barely.  Muqtada Sadr's father and uncle did not, and their grisly martyrdom fuels his political movement to this day.

      Saddam eliminated tribal leaders in the Sunni area who opposed him and based his high command and military mostly on Sunni tribal leaders who supported him.  This is why it is so difficult for Shia' and Kurdish leaders to reconcile with some of those Sunni tribal leaders today, because most of them have pretty bad histories.

      The Americans floundered with the insurgency until they realized the value of recognizing the role of local leaders, especially tribal leaders, in controlling the periphery.  All Petreus did was behave like Saddam, albeit in a far more measured and courteous way.  He engaged the tribal leaders, and allowed for local autonomy, and set down the rules - kill the fundies, and we leave the status quo.  It worked... as it should have.

      Maliki decided he no longer needed the tribal leaders, and that he wanted a strong central government, and that the Sunnis could join on his terms or not at all.  So gradually, this underground social network of tribal leaders, economic patronage networks, religious leaders in the Sunni dominant area finally started drifting away until they decided that ISIS was actually better than Maliki.  And they switched sides - which accounts for the rapidity of this uprising.

      But ISIS has to be careful now, because these tribal leaders may just turn on them again. One of the first rules ISIS released upon taking Mosul was to forbid tribal leaders from contacting the Iraqi government.  Makes sense, but it is unenforceable.  

      And so it goes.  ISIS will advance for now, and may even consolidate control for a while over Mosul.  The former Ba'athists will return to power with ISIS as their thugs, and it will be a very ugly time.  But it is also possible that ISIS will be just to crazy, and the economic and tribal elite in the Sunni areas will eventually find someone in Baghdad (or Kurdistan) with whom they can collaborate, and the cycle will begin anew.  In fact, the Iraqi governor of Mosul is now in Kurdistan, calling for Kurdish assistance in creating a Sunni army to defeat ISIS - same thing exactly!  The governor al-Nujaifi, who is himself a prominent tribal leader, has decided that the Kurds are stronger than Maliki, and he would rather coordinate his networks and supporters with them.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:17:36 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Halliburton always wants war (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cececville

      they win no matter who is fighting.  they lose when there is peace.

      Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
      DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
      Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

      by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:50:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  it's tribal conflict (0+ / 0-)

      replace shiite/sunni  with blackfoot/cfrow/navajo

      or   zulu/pondo/  or   yuruba/bantu  with a mix of lords resistance army,    charles taylor....

      the details are different but the conflict matrix is th esame.

  •  Isn't this grand?....the whole Bush/Cheney War (14+ / 0-)

    Machine will be on your teevee 24/7 for the next few weeks....The Good Ole Daze.

    •  This is great news.... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skillet

      ....for John McCain!

      (it was inevitable, someone hadda do it)

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:01:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  They should bring them all on teevee ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Santa Susanna Kid

      ... and then hit them all with:

      "Where's the square in Baghdad that was supposed to be named after George Bush back in 2004?"

      "Where's the 'cakewalk'?"

      "Where were the WMDs?"

      "Where's the 3 trillion in our deficit that we weren't supposed to be spending in Iraq?"

      "Where's the shining example of 'Western-style democracy' in the Middle East that was supposed to be established there a decade or so ago?"

      And they should have all the experts who warned against this very outcome back in 2003 on with them, demanding an apology and an acknowledgment that they were right.

      And they should keep showing the picture of George Bush and his MISSION ACCOMPLISHED banner.

      That's what the media SHOULD do ... but won't.

  •  I question McCain cognitive abilities (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whl, snapples, Smoh, PeteZerria, US Blues

    He may be ready for the old folks home

  •  I stopped reading with this: (26+ / 0-)
    The Kurds in the north-east of Iraq have been going their own way since the 2003 invasion removed the oppressive hand of Saddam from their throats. Little is heard from that region, but it appears they have been fashioning their own little Taliban-style  Islamic Republic. Little wonder they took this opportunity to seize control of Kirkuk, and look for them to further cement their independence.
    That's factually wrong, and actually quite idiotic.  The Kurds are not forming an Islamic Republic.

    For chriisakes, read just a little before you post a diary!

    Neither the KDP nor Goran nor PUK are Islamist parties.  There are two Kurdish Islamic parties but they are not running the government.

    “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

    by ivorybill on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 06:55:59 AM PDT

  •  If Iran beats back ISIS, and if we cooperate (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ivorybill, Smoh, AoT, leevank, TomP, TakeSake

    then we will be in a better position to get a nuke deal, and we should partner with Iran. The Iranian people are educated better than most and want to move into the future.

    "The poor can never be made to suffer enough." Jimmy Breslin

    by merrywidow on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:01:30 AM PDT

  •  I told my wife that one of two things was going to (3+ / 0-)

    happen in Iraq and one of them is not U.S. combat troops.

    1)  The Iranians will step in to defend their Shi'ite buddies in
          Iraq, or

    2)  The Iranians will sit back and let Sunni insurgents come
          into power (Saddam on steroids), after which Iraq and
          Iran can reprise their war (from the '80s?) and thereby
          return the situation to the "normalcy" that existed then.

    Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

    by ZedMont on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:16:03 AM PDT

    •  No way these insurgents will be able to (4+ / 0-)

      control Iraq and attack Iran. They are a relatively small force and they aren't going to have the support of a majority of Iraqis, and definitely not the support of the ary of Iraq.

      No War but Class War

      by AoT on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:36:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Truly tiny (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JesseCW, AoT, waterstreet2013, TomFromNJ

        The taking of Mosul was one of the most incredible successes against overwhelming odds ever seen.  ISIL waas probably outnumbered roughly 25-1.  There were two full divisions of the Iraqi Army plus various local, provincial and national police forces there, totaling about 30,000 armed personnel.  The ISIL attacking force was probably roughly 1200; and set the 30,000 to total rout.

        Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

        by ActivistGuy on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:43:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Tanks ??? Chops? (0+ / 0-)

          More in the way of ground support aircraft?

          Even M113s with 50-cal could have stopped what ISIS sent in there.

          "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

          by waterstreet2013 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:44:13 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Iraqi Army a jobs program (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            waterstreet2013

            more than a military service.  They have some F-16s on order, but the future pilots are still in training.  Not sure what the story on armor is.  I understand they have helicopters, but don't seem to have any idea how to use them for combat.  A consequence of dissolving the former army?

            Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

            by ActivistGuy on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:52:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Some of the leaders of the ISIL have been (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        waterstreet2013

        at this for 30 years. They're mercs in the employ of the Gulf States and are simply among the best at what they do.

        An elite force like that can smash through a bunch of police stations and scare the crap out of a bunch of raw recruits putting in their two years.

        You're absolutely right that it can't dominate a nation without huge support from a larger traditional occupying force.

        ProTip - the people who like to play PVP MMORPG's often see this site as one.

        by JesseCW on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:03:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  #2 isn't going to happen... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NYFM

      because Iran really wants dominance in the Persian Gulf and in the Middle East as a whole.

      This situation is really working out in Iran's favor.

      Cheers.

      Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

      by databob on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:55:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Iran doesn't want mass war with Iraq. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, ZedMont

      The new Prez, Rouhani, styles himself as a moderate:

      The Iranian president made no mention of archfoe Israel but said Iran ‘will not invade any country,’ although it would ‘resist any invasion.’

      Rouhani also assured neighboring countries that Iran seeks better ties with them, saying that ‘neighbors should know that our army supports peace and stability.’

      The remarks were a stark contrast to Rouhani's belligerent predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

      Rouhani may well co-ordinate military support/action in Iraq with the US, if he isn't already doing so. The last thing he wants is a return to the brutal, devastating, and ultimately totally pointless 1980s Iran-Iraq War.
      •  Of course Rouhani's statement was made with (0+ / 0-)

        respect to a Shi'ite-controlled Iraq, not a rabid Sunni-terrorist Iraq.  I suspect he would very well go to war with those guys if the need arose.

        One thing I don't understand.  Rouhani and al-Maliki are good Shi'ite buddies, so why isn't he asking Iran for air support?  They have a decent Air Force.

        With respect to the "rout," I am hearing now that it was an ordered retreat.  Their commanders apparently never had any intention of fighting.  There's no way that 1200 soldiers in pickup trucks can rout 30,000 troops armed with heavy weapons, including tanks and helicopters.  No. Way.  This sounds more and more like an inside job.  We wuz had.  Suckered, we wuz.

        Ted Cruz president? Pardon my Vietnamese, but Ngo Pho King Way.

        by ZedMont on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 01:16:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It is good to see McCain in his (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, TomP

    pretzel logic.  He is so full of himself that he cannot know he is being snickered at.  What a shame, his veteran status at one time meant something.  Now, when we see him, we pity him, not as an old infirm soldier, but as a clown.

  •  Does Anyone Remember The SOFA Agreement? (11+ / 0-)

    It was signed by George Bush in 2008 & established that all US forces had to withdraw from Iraq by l2/31/11.  Our combat forces had to leave sooner.

    We were kicked out which John McCain & Lindsey Graham have
    conveniently forgotten.  

    Wolf Blitzer just had Peter Brookes on last night.  Brookes is the idiot from the Heritage Foundation who said "The Iraq war is going to last a few weeks" right before we entered Iraq in
    2003.  Now he's CNN's latest Iraq
    war expert.

    Last night Brookes said "The real blunder is when Obama got out in 2009".  Of course, Blitzer failed to remind him of SOFA.

    CNN is jumping into the fray w/ repeated comments that 4500
    American soldiers died in Iraq.....but never mentioning the 500,000 Iraqi who died right along w/ those soldiers.

    Iraqi have a right to their beef w/ us....they don't want us back again other than the strategic drone.

  •  Let's send McCain & Cheney to Iraq as Envoys. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm sure they'll be greeted as liberators. The people may even throw flowers at them.... or something.

    I can't stomach a ME re-run, but some things never change....

    Nuclear arms in the Middle East
    Israel is attacking the Iraqis
    The Syrians are mad at the Lebanese
    And Baghdad does whatever she please
    Looks like another threat to world peace
    For the envoy

    Things got hot in El Salvador
    CIA got caught and couldn't do no more
    He's got diplomatic immunity
    He's got a lethal weapon that nobody sees
    Looks like another threat to world peace
    For the envoy
    Send the envoy
    Send the envoy

    Whenever there's a crisis
    The President sends his envoy in
    Guns in Damascus
    Oh, Jerusalem

    Nuclear arms in the Middle East
    Israel is attacking the Iraqis
    The Syrians are mad at the Lebanese
    And Baghdad do whatever she please
    Looks like another threat to world peace
    For the envoy
    Send the envoy . . .
    Send for the envoy....

    -Warren Zevon

    "I think the Republican Party is not really a party. It doesn’t stand for anything except reelecting itself. It’s a coalition of gangs …"-David Stockman

    by GrannyOPhilly on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:47:52 AM PDT

    •  Another from Midnight Oil from 1982 (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomFromNJ, GrannyOPhilly, myboo

      Conquistador of Mexico, the Zulu and the Navaho
      The Belgians in the Congo short memory
      Plantation in Virginia, the Raj in British India
      The deadline in South Africa short memory
      The story of El Salvador, the silence of Hiroshima
      Destruction of Cambodia short memory

      Short memory, must have a, short memory

      The sight of hotels by the Nile, the designated Hilton style
      With running water specially bought short memory
      A smallish man Afghanistan, a watch dog in a nervous land
      They're only there to lend a hand short memory
      Wake up in sweat at dead of night
      And in the tents new rifles hey short memory

      If you read the history books you'll see the same things happen again and again
      Repeat repeat short memory they've all got it
      When are we going to play it again
      Got a short, got a short, got a short, got a short
      They've got a short must have a short they've got a short aah
      Short memory, they've got a.

      Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. They lie through their teeth with their head up their behind. You open up their hearts and here's what you'll find - Some humans ain't human some people ain't kind. John Prine

      by high uintas on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:40:02 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Awesome Diary. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, TomP

    "It's no measure of health being well adjusted to a profoundly sick society"

    by buckshot face on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 07:56:21 AM PDT

  •  Communications cut (5+ / 0-)

    Be the change you want to see in the world. -Gandhi

    by DRo on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:23:49 AM PDT

  •  It's John McCain's bad cover (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    high uintas, TrueBlueMajority

    of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now."

    Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity. Horace Mann (and btw, the bike in kayakbiker is a bicycle)

    by Kayakbiker on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:32:43 AM PDT

  •  Not Our Enemy (0+ / 0-)
    Iran has also been supporting Syrian dictator Assad through its proxy Hezbollah, which has been fighting against ISIL, which is also our enemy.

    How is ISIL our enemy? Iraq isn't ours. Syria isn't ours. ISIL sounds like Iran's enemy. ISIL is funded by the Sauds, just as Hezbollah is funded by Iran. These are proxy wars between the Sunni and Shiite capitals of Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    Why should the US fight that out? They'll be happy to sell us oil no matter whether they're run by secular military dictators or by theocratic military dictators. Let them spend our oil money on taking each other's territory if that's their priority. After the oil runs out in 10-20 years they can eat the sand they won at such great cost.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:33:22 AM PDT

  •  Syrian balance of forces (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JesseCW

    The FSA, outside its role as recipient of US aid, is a rather minor player on the ground.  A recent Stratfor estimate establishes them and their associated SNC as having the backing of only 20% of the Syrian opposition, with 80% of the opposition today in one of the Islamist camps, either ISIL, the official al-Qaeda franchise Jabhat al-Nusra, or the looser Islamic Front/Ahrar al-Sham-led coalition.

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:34:06 AM PDT

  •  Given how those lines were drawn ... (0+ / 0-)

    ...

    the dissolution of Iraq into its 3 component parts: Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite.
    ... this should come as a surprise only to those with their heads in the sand; e.g. McCain.
  •  Suggesting ISIS routed a few policemen to take (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013, AoT, TomFromNJ

    over Mosul is a very misleading understatement.
    ISIS was grossly outnumbered by Iraqi troops.
    I dont remember the ratio at the moment.
    10:1 is a conservative guess.
    But the Iraquis ran away anyway.
    Just like the North Vietnamese routed a million-plus man army of the South in just a few months at the end of the war.
    Because without a large American presence to hide behind, the other side just ran away.
    ISIS might not be able to hold Mosul. Maybe they dont even want to. But they guys who want it more often tend to win.
    And they at least have a big batch of handy American made weapons and vehicles, the best that money can buy, to take back to Syria. Along with a whole lot of $$$$ from the banks in the towns and cities they overran.

    •  It helped ISIS... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      waterstreet2013

      ...that the Iraqi troops turned tail and ran as soon as someone shot at them.  I guess the US doesn't have a monopoly on shock and awe.

      •  Yeah, not really. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DrTerwilliker, databob

        The Iraqi Army blocking positions outside Monsul, were attacked by two fast moving ISIS convoys. Wire guided missiles were use to take out the Abrams Tanks and the blast walls, satchel charges and grenades at close quarters were used to take out the APC's and MRAPs.

        Inside Monsul, Checkpoints and Police stations were quietly taken by the Sunni Self Defence Forces, some 40,000 strong.

        It takes an incredible amount of inter communication, training, courage, leadership, training and combat experience to conduct a fighting retreat, when your mix of garrisons and small forces, inside and outside a city, are suddenly attacked on all sides at once, out of the blue.

      •  How many of their officers were Ba'athist (0+ / 0-)

        Shi'ia ?

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

        by waterstreet2013 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:37:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  we have always been at war with Eastasia (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    liberaldregs, waterstreet2013

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    DEMAND CREATES JOBS!!!
    Drop by The Grieving Room on Monday nights to talk about grief.

    by TrueBlueMajority on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:49:08 AM PDT

  •  ISIL exists as more than a rag-tag militia (3+ / 0-)

    only because of the financial and logistic support of the Gulf State dictators.

    Period.

    ProTip - the people who like to play PVP MMORPG's often see this site as one.

    by JesseCW on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:50:59 AM PDT

  •  Someone smart back then said when we killed sadaam (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013, myboo, databob

    ....we killed the babysitter and now we are stuck watching after the kids!!

    You think his job was easy?  Fuck no.

    Please know I am not rude. I cannot rec anything from this browser. When I rec or post diaries I am a guest at some exotic locale's computer. Ayn is the bane!

    by Floyd Blue on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 08:52:20 AM PDT

  •  there are options besides bombing (0+ / 0-)

    but now they are soft power options.

  •  I feel a song coming on... (0+ / 0-)

    ...apologies twice to Brian Wilson (once for McCain, and once for what you are about to read...)

    Sell bombs, bombs, bombs, bombs to Iran
    Bombs bombs bombs bombs for Iran
    Let's have Iran...bomb Iraq...and take Baghdad....

    McCain and Dick and Dubya
    Have really fucked up royally
    So it's bombs bombs bombs, bombs for Iran..

  •  1) McCain IS bombed. 2) Biden proposed splitting (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013, TomFromNJ

    Iraq into 4 (?) separate countries and got lambasted for it.  RealPolitik  May end up that way, though.

    Just let the Kurds go, already.

    Happy little moron, Lucky little man.
    I wish I was a moron, MY GOD, Perhaps I am!
    —Spike Milligan

    by polecat on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:08:06 AM PDT

  •  Anyone heard from or about "Riverbend"? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013, AoT, myboo

    I hope she's okay.

    "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

    by leftykook on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 09:09:47 AM PDT

    •  email/blog had this a year ago: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      leftykook
      "...And then there are things we'd like to learn...

      Ahmed Chalabi, Iyad Allawi, Ibrahim Jaafari, Tarek Al Hashemi and the rest of the vultures, where are they now? Have they crawled back under their rocks in countries like the USA, the UK, etc.? Where will Maliki be in a year or two? Will he return to Iran or take the millions he made off of killing Iraqis and then seek asylum in some European country? Far away from the angry Iraqi masses…

      What about George Bush, Condi, Wolfowitz, and Powell? Will they ever be held accountable for the devastation and the death they wrought in Iraq? Saddam was held accountable for 300,000 Iraqis... Surely someone should be held accountable for the million or so?

      Finally, after all is said and done, we shouldn't forget what this was about - making America safer... And are you safer Americans? If you are, why is it that we hear more and more about attacks on your embassies and diplomats? Why is it that you are constantly warned to not go to this country or that one? Is it better now, ten years down the line? Do you feel safer, with hundreds of thousands of Iraqis out of the way (granted half of them were women and children, but children grow up, right?)?

      And what happened to Riverbend and my family? I eventually moved from Syria. I moved before the heavy fighting, before it got ugly. That’s how fortunate I was. I moved to another country nearby, stayed almost a year, and then made another move to a third Arab country with the hope that, this time, it’ll stick until… Until when? Even the pessimists aren’t sure anymore. When will things improve? When will be able to live normally? How long will it take?  

      For those of you who are disappointed reality has reared its ugly head again, go to Fox News, I'm sure they have a reportage that will soothe your conscience.

      For those of you who have been asking about me and wondering how I have been doing, I thank you. "Lo khuliyet, qulibet..." Which means "If the world were empty of good people, it would end." I only need to check my emails to know it won't be ending any time soon."

      Living in another Arab country. After bailing to and then out of Syria like other educated Iraqis.

      Very unlikely to be playing St. Jean Riverbend back in Iraq.

      "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

      by waterstreet2013 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:48:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Should we just bomb BOTH SIDES? (0+ / 0-)

    That has been America's problem from the beginning.

    DUBBA warred against the Sunni, and hatred being on the same side of the Shiite who allies with Iran.

    Then DUBBA could not make the Kurds stronger because that was a problem for Turkey who has been at war with the Kurds forever.

    What is one to do, Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite?

    Assholes are assholes.

    Right now the rational people in Iraq, Kurdish, Sunni and Shiite, must unite to rid themselves of the radicals. Failure to do so means an end of future hopes.

  •  Why is ISIS tagged "Al Qaeda" ??? (0+ / 0-)

    There is no reason to go with that fantasy. Hell, this is little army is secular Ba'athists led by Izzat Ibrahim al Douri. If anything these guys are Saddam loyalists and in no way connected to the Salafi religious movement.

    And why does Revolutionary Guard coming in surprise anybody?

    They've had as many as 10,000 IRG in Lebanon fighting in support of the Syrian government. Sending only 500 to Baghdad should be the surprise. 5,000 is what I'd expect.

    If I had to bet on it, they'd say "500" and send 5,000 or 10,000 to Baghdad. With full equipment.

    This is Sunni vs. Shi'ia. All courtesy of Halliburton, Inc. and their 2002 oil grab.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- after Paul "False Prophet" Ryan

    by waterstreet2013 on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 10:29:26 AM PDT

  •  Like an old GF who dumped you calling you back (0+ / 0-)

    …when she needs to move, clean her old place and pay the movers.

    And McCain is hammering on you for moving away from her in the first place!!

  •  Spreading chaos in the ME was a feature not a bug (0+ / 0-)

    of Cheney's policy. It was intended to create deep feeding troughs for the MIC for decades to come.

    American Presidents: 43 men, 0 women. Ready for Hillary

    by atana on Fri Jun 13, 2014 at 11:22:46 AM PDT

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